I recently had the opportunity to participate in the Advanced Program in Logistics and Technology (LOGTECH), a six day program offered by the Kenan – Flagler Business School and the Center of Excellence in Logistics and Technology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The business school is one of the top accredited business schools in the country. LOGTECH programs are designed for military and industry leaders in logistics and supply chain management. The program’s target audience is military officers O4 to O6, government civilians GS 13 to GS 15, and private sector participants at the vice-president/regional director level.
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(Left to Right) Lt. Cmdr. Heather Smith; Cmdr. Doug Mackenzie; Lt. Cmdr. Terry Grigsby; Lt. Cmdr. Erika Schoenthal; and Cmdr. Chuck Dwy.
LOGTECH provides participants a framework that will enable them to improve current operations within their individual organizations. Additionally, participants are encouraged to contemplate how future operations and capabilities will be impacted by changing paradigms, influences, environmental conditions and technology. The program affords the opportunity for an increased supply chain knowledge base, critical discussion and analysis of anticipated or existing challenges facing the logistics community.
The Center of Excellence in Logistics & Technology provides an integrated and intimate environment that facilitated collaboration between various government agencies, the private sector and academia. This environment enabled participants to gain a better appreciation of the challenges various communities face, and allows for some constructive dialog regarding potential solutions.
“LOGTECH is a superb opportunity that provides a great mix of current political and economic forces impacting industry with overviews of industry-leading supply chain concepts and practices,” explained Cmdr. Doug Mackenzie. “The academic staff and great lineup of speakers engaged the diverse group of DoD and Industry participants, making for some very thought provoking discussions. I highly recommend this opportunity to any Supply Corps officer.”
Logisticians need to be prepared for the challenges brought on by globalization, scarcity of resources, fiscal constraints and environmental concerns. Logisticians in both the public and privates sectors are going to be asked to do more work with fewer resources, and must begin to establish strategies and tactics that will position their organizations to take on these impending challenges at both the strategic and operational levels.
Given these challenges, LOGTECH identified and focused on several key factors of organizational success tailored for the modern post-industrial environment. Discussions focused on how Information Technology, including the Internet, Informatics and Mega-data will impact the structure and performance of organizations in the 21st century.
Adaptation of Life Cycle approaches to systems design, advanced and integrated supply chains and dynamic leadership were identified as 21st century solutions essential for transformative logistics. Participants highlighted major factors that might inhibit the development of internetworked, lean and efficient solutions within the armed services to include cultural barriers and tribal mindsets, scale, policy and fiscal limitations.
LOGTECH invited guest speakers who provided insightful information on how logisticians can remain competitive in a varying and uncertain future environment. Speakers included retired Rear Adm. Erroll Brown, USCG; Lt. Gen. Brooks Bash, USAF, Director for Logistics, Joint Staff, the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.; and retired Adm. Eric Olson, USN.
The Advanced LOGTECH program is a continuing professional development opportunity intended to develop a deeper understanding of current and future challenges that will affect both the public and private sectors. The program offered new perspectives on the science and art of logistics. It leverages global best practices and explores leading edge logistics technologies that will be key components to effective and efficient operations.
Lastly, the program has established a network of graduates who can be, and will be, used to gain efficiencies and foster innovation by leveraging best practices.
By Lt. Cmdr. Terry Grigsby; NAVSUP FLC Norfolk, Va.