Published on 2015/10/06
The EvoLLLution | How Universities Can Learn From Logistics Management’s Key Concepts
Building relationships, effective communication and focusing on meeting customer needs through rapid response times are critical to successful logistics management and can help universities serve their key stakeholders better.

The three most important lessons universities can learn from companies and industries that highlight logistics management are the importance of relationships, communication and customer satisfaction through rapid response time.

Relationships in general are critical to the success of a university, and relationships with industry can bring many benefits to a university. Strong partnerships with industries and employers can help universities advance research and improve curriculum. By forging relationships with high schools, universities can help promote their programs and recruit students for increases in enrollment. It’s not just external relationships that are important, though. Internal relationships across siloes within the university are key to an institution’s success. Interdepartmental relationships create the environment necessary to develop effective teams and committees that promote problem solving and idea generation. Of course, communication is key to building and maintaining these effective relationships.

Communication is an important element to the success of any business. Universities, like many corporations, have several layers and multiple departments that need to work together for the success of the whole. Communication is necessary for the efficient use of resources and the effectiveness of new programs and initiatives. Communication also involves listening. Some departments may be inclined to work in a silo. Transparency, information sharing and effective communication can encourage innovation and advance strategies. Communication can help coordinate activities to improve the response time leading to increases in customer satisfaction.

Today, logistics management in any organization is fast-paced and ever-changing. When considering the customer of a university, it is the faculty, staff, students and industries the universities partners with. What do these customers want from the university? Relevant curriculum, resources to do their job, support with innovations and research are a few elements that customers demand from universities. These demands require a rapid response. Because of the many layers and departments that were mentioned earlier, the university’s response time can be delayed. Effective communication and a proactive approach to customer concerns can combat the possibility of delays in response time.

Logistics management, done right, is a competitive advantage for companies. Effective logistics management through relationship building, information sharing and communication can make companies more agile and flexible, which in turn supports the meeting of key stakeholder needs—whether they be internal staff or external partners—which leads to customer satisfaction. The key elements of relationships, communication and customer satisfaction though rapid response time will all propel a university towards its operational and strategic goals. There are many lessons to take away from a successful logistics management process.

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Readers Comments

Candace Myers 2015/10/06 at 10:46 am

It’s important to recognize that all of these things work together to achieve the end goal. As mentioned, there’s no way to forge relationships in any direction without strong communication skills throughout, and without those relationships to form links across the university, nothing can get done in a timely manner.

Tina Nash 2015/10/06 at 2:57 pm

I know there are institutions that still resist getting rid of the silo model, but I think that if we do a better job of building these strong relationships, we’ll find that the silos begin to dissolve all on their own. Good communication doesn’t mean loss of autonomy.

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