The logistics chain has traditionally been cost-driven. We want to get things delivered as quickly and as cheaply as possible. The result is that a lot of work has been outsourced to low-wage countries, and that container ships and planes filled with cheap things come our way every day. It is anything but sustainable and takes the robustness out of the logistics chain. “And that resilience is so important in times of global unrest,” says Verboeket.
The Corona pandemic and the war in Ukraine have made it painfully clear that our current logistics system is vulnerable. Suddenly there is worldwide oil shortage, gas shortage, grain shortage, you name it. The obvious consequences of chains not being set up properly, says Verboeket. “We are confronted with facts and forced to look at the logistics chains differently.”
With the Supply Chain Innovation professorship, affiliated with Fontys University of Applied Sciences Technology and Logistics in Venlo, Verboeket will in the coming years research opportunities to organize these logistics chains differently. Together with six other universities used, the research group works on sustainable and resilient logistics chains from the ‘Center of Expertise KennisDC Logistiek’.
“We focus strongly on digitization and sustainability. Not only on transportation and goods flows, but on the entire field of supply chain management. The question is: how do we organize the whole chain? This also includes the location of factories, the choice of means of transport and the use of new technologies. ”
According to Verboeket, we are currently in the middle of the transition from one-sided cost-driven logistics thinking to more sustainable and robust supply chain thinking. He sees an important role for educational institutions in this regard.
“If we want to make the world more sustainable, then we really need to train people differently from the bottom up. Then we must not pretend we have a monopoly on wisdom, but above all teach our students to use it. does not to agree with us. Our students must learn to research, they must learn to be critical and creative and they themselves must learn to develop new methods and new working methods. ”
Another way of thinking
One cannot solve problems with the same mindset that caused the problems, the Verboeket refers to a statement by Einstein. According to him, it is time for a different way of thinking. “It explicitly requires a different way of training. Because in my optics, the current students still have too little research capacity. As educators, we really need to invest more in it. ”
Verboeket believes that research and education should be more closely linked. “We must work together in the triangle of education, research and business to solve the great problems in society. That is why I fully support Fonty’s philosophy of society. Research and education must coexist on an equal footing and serve society. Our lectureship can build a bridge between business and education. ” [Ivo van der Hoeven]
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