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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2016
14 COMPANY PROFILE X COMPANY PROFILE The RMIT School of Business IT and Logistics is entering a new growth phase as it expands its industry engagement and strengthens its reputation as a leading provider of logistics research and education in the Asia–Pacific region. RMIT is Australia’s largest and longest-running provider of logistics knowledge. The university pioneered supply-chain management education and was the first to combine its information systems and logistics departments into one School – an approach that other universities have followed. RMIT’s foresight is paying off. The School of Business IT and Logistics won the Best Educational Course Provider award at the Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) awards in Hong Kong in 2015. About 15,000 people in the logistics industry voted on the award, recognising RMIT’s commitment to quality and innovation. Research is another strength. The School received a four-star rating (above world standard) in information systems in the 2015–16 Excellence in Research in Australia assessment. About 30 of its academics specialise in logistics, and 35 PhD candidates are researching this field. ‘RMIT has significant scale in logistics research and education, and a valuable network,’ says Professor Caroline Chan, Head of the School of Business IT and Logistics. ‘Our goal is to be the premier provider of logistics solutions for local and international companies, and a critical research and education hub for logistics in the Asia–Pacific.’ The School has made significant gains since Professor Chan joined to lead it in 2010. The information systems expert saw an opportunity to enhance its logistics program by incorporating IT. ‘Supply-chain management is increasingly about information systems and utilising information,’ says Professor Chan. ‘Combining IT and logistics positioned RMIT at the forefront of global logistics trends, and gave it a first-mover advantage in this field. It created natural synergies for industry, and provided new frontiers for learning, teaching and research.’ Strong momentum The School now has more than 2500 students and about 100 full- and part- time staff members. Its researchers publish up to 140 papers each year in leading logistics and Information Systems journals. The School is one of five Higher Education schools in RMIT’s College of Business, and is among its most prominent in the Asia– Pacific. Postgraduate education, principally through its Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management, and Master of Business IT, is proving popular among both domestic and international students. Students interact with companies such as the Port of Melbourne Corporation, Coca-Cola Amatil, Cadbury Schweppes, Nike, Adidas, Toll Holdings, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, DP World and GS1 Australia through their course. They also benefit from the School’s close connections with IT and logistics professional bodies, and their accreditation of the School’s programs. ‘Logistics provides students with a genuine, global career in an in-demand sector,’ says Professor Chan. ‘The School is working with industry and professional associations to develop the next generation of supply-chain experts who help Australian business to transform the industry, move goods more efficiently, lower procurement costs, and access new markets.’ A timely, important area of expertise Logistics has rapidly become one of the most important areas of university research and education. Australia has a vital role to play in moving goods in the Asia–Pacific region as supply-chain hotspots continue to move from North America and Europe to Asia, and China acts as the ‘world’s factory’. An expected boom in Asian middle- class consumption in the next two decades will drive greater demand for logistics networks and expertise. Significant investment in supply-chain systems will be required to move, store and distribute food for Asia’s burgeoning middle class. Professor Chan says Australia has a valuable opportunity to export its logistics expertise, and to help companies that want to move goods safely and efficiently in Asia to design a sustainable system. RMIT helping Australian industry capitalise on logistics Combining IT and logistics positions University at the forefront of global supply-chain trends. Professor Caroline Chan, Head of the School of Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University 500471E_RMIT University I 2242.indd 24 21/04/2016 10:22 AM