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Faculty Focus:
MICHAEL BOURLAKIS
Professor in Logistics & Supply Chain Management and
Head of the Cranfield Supply Chain Research Centre
OPEN
EXECUTIVE
PROGRAMMES
How did you first get interested in logistics?
I became really interested in logistics when I was an undergraduate student at
Athens University of Economics and Business studying Business Administration.
That then led me to my first job at Danone where I was responsible for the
delivery of dairy products to retailers.
What are you working on at the moment?
I am working on a project to develop key performance indicators on sustainability
for the food supply chain and for SMEs. I am also researching the rise of omnichannels (multi-channel retailing) and the impact on consumer behaviour.
Tell us about the Cranfield Supply Chain Research Centre
It is one of Europe’s largest centres dedicated to research into Logistics and
Supply Chain Management. The Centre attracts annual funding in excess of
£500,000 through the research council, government, European Union and
industrial sources. The objective is to generate new knowledge and to
address specific industrial and societal needs.
What are the biggest challenges facing the sector?
The biggest challenge is ‘uncertainty’. The sector, like most,
faces economic uncertainty due to the financial crisis but
also uncertainty due to the environment. Climate change
and adverse weather conditions, like the recent floods
in the UK, can have a significant impact on the supply
chain. The availability of energy, water and other natural
resources is also a cause for concern. To deal with
these challenges the logistics sector needs to be
flexible and ensure they have plans in place to deal
with uncertainties.
What does the future hold for the sector?
The sector will continue to grow and evolve to support
the changing world in which we live. For example, it
is predicted that in the future most people will live in
towns and cities. This trend (urbanisation) will impact
existing processes and systems and the sector must
be ready and agile enough to meet the shifting needs
of society.
Do you have any words of advice for those
looking to start a career in logistics?
The logistics sector has much to offer, but it requires
committed and hard working professionals who are
prepared to be challenged. The profession has grown
and is now recognised as one of the most critical parts of
business across the world. It is important to have a clear
career path which includes educational development. At
Cranfield, we offer postgraduate and executive logistics
programmes to suit logisticians at all stages of their career.
24
Management Focus
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE STRATEGY: CREATING A
CUSTOMER-CENTRIC ORGANISATION
Gain the skills to develop and implement a coherent
customer experience strategy.
13 - 14 May 2014 & 11 - 12 Nov 2014
www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/ces
MINDFULNESS FOR HIGHER PERFORMANCE
Harness the power of mindfulness to become a more
creative and productive executive.
10 - 11 Jun 2014 & 17 - 18 Nov 2014
www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/me
CUSTOMERS’ HIDDEN NEEDS
Discover valuable opportunities for translating hidden
customer needs into breakthrough products and services.
24 - 25 Jun 2014 & 6 - 7 Nov 2014
www.cranfield.ac.uk/som/chn
To download our
course brochure
scan here.
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