The Challenges Of Training Logistics Personnel In East Africa: Critical Lessons From Employers
Onserio, Nyamwange Stephen
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While the role of logistics and supply chain management in developing competitive business capabilities is beginning to be recognized by many global organizations, there is critical need to ensure that training institutions do their part in imparting market-driven skills to prospective and existing practitioners. The role and importance of supply chain management has largely been attributed to the effects of globalization, intensifying competition and an increasing emphasis on customer orientation (Gunasekaran et al., 2004; Webster, 2002). Against this backdrop, effective supply chain management is considered key to building a sustainable competitive edge through improved inter and intra-firm relationships (Ellinger, 2000). This paper presents findings of a 2008 survey of Kenyan companies possessing a significant logistics/supply chain management function. The survey, conducted by the authors, examined current skills possessed by practicing logistics personnel and compared these with the skills employers desired to see in their personnel and which were felt to be critical to achieving and maintaining competitiveness in the market place. The paper draws from the results of the survey to make recommendations for the best skills-set necessary to organizations operating in a dynamic and uncertain business landscape. It is hoped that this Paper will form the basis for efforts geared towards designing new and improving existing logistics and supply chain management curriculums by African universities and training institutions.