April 2016 | Commentary | Smart Moves

How STEM is Revolutionizing the Future of Logistics

Tags: Logistics, Technology , Education, Supply Chain

Lauren Willison is Director of Admissions, Florida Polytechnic University, 863-583-9050

All across higher education, we have seen an increase in the number of students who decide to pursue a degree in logistics. With the logistics sector adopting new technology, more businesses and organizations are looking to hire graduates with a logistics background and the ability to plan, execute, and strategically maximize efficiencies within their role. Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines allow logistics personnel to do just that.

Advancements in communication and data technologies throughout the past decade have positively influenced business structure and logistics processes. Logistics and supply chain practitioners use technologically advanced formulas and skills such as algorithm-based forecasting and radio frequency identification. As a result, logistics management has become a profitable and lucrative business.

Technology Enlightens Logistics

Individuals working in logistics are responsible for planning, implementing, controlling, and forwarding the information, good, or service from the point of origin to consumption. Technology has enhanced the efficiency and effectiveness of the movement and consumption process.

With accurate visibility, logistics managers are able to increase service accuracy, optimize supply and demand, and determine the exact location and delivery time down to the specific minute and second.

The advancement in technology and the demand to hire logistics professionals have pushed many universities to provide the necessary curriculum, experience, and knowledge for students to excel in logistics. The advancing field requires students to complete coursework in economics, logistics management, statistics, and business. In addition, they must obtain internship experience and develop strong competencies in technical aspects of production, transportation, and information management.

Students also should be familiar with conceptual skills associated with economics such as customer service, asset management, process integration, and trade globalization.

Individuals working in logistics have a wealth of data at their fingertips. The increase of STEM within the field enables companies to improve logistics efficiency by developing software and IT for enterprise warehousing or fleet management, and even calculating price negotiations for different aspects of transportation.

The field of logistics requires data-driven analysis, which is now a key tool for logistics managers to control costs and ensure the best customer service.

Advancements Stem from STEM

In the 1970s, transportation was a commodity involving cars, trucks, and trains. A few decades later, shippers can now track and move shipments by land, air, and sea through various methods. The advancement of STEM disciplines has allowed for new processes, techniques, and modes of movement.

STEM disciplines broaden logistics and industry standards by involving process strategies, planning, implementation tactics, and supply and demand optimization. Students recognize this and are capitalizing on it. Graduates prepared to enter logistics will be able to meet the growing demands of global industries and push the envelope of this emerging field.






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