supply chain management
Students in the Parker College of Business at Georgia Southern University who are pursuing careers in logistics and intermodal transportation (LIT) are being prepared for and connected to careers in a program that is recognized by the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) and its member companies.
The Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in LIT degree was recently spotlighted by the IANA in their e-magazine and has received scholarship awards from the organization since 2016. During the 2017-18 academic year, more than 50 LIT graduates began management careers with IANA member companies.
The program emphasizes the integration of all modes of transportation, especially surface, to efficiently move goods through supply chains. The program connects coursework to careers in business logistics.
With close proximity to the Port of Savannah and the many freight movement companies in the region, the program meets the managerial workforce needs of the freight transportation sector. Other areas students are prepared for through the program include demand forecasting and facility location decisions, which are relevant to broader supply chain applications.
Through five courses focused on freight transport within the program, the BBA in LIT extends learning beyond the classroom by incorporating industry and student-led events such as the Georgia Logistics Summit, the IANA Intermodal EXPO Academic Challenge Annual Student Competition and the Logistics Roundtable.
The Logistics Roundtable is hosted by the Logistics Association, the student organization for the LIT program, in both spring and fall semesters. During the roundtable, managers from more than 30 freight transportation companies participate in panel sessions and career networking. Many of the managers participating in the Logistics Roundtable are alumni of the program.
In addition to these activities, students take a course based solely on a case study. This approach leverages a containerized freight challenge faced by a local organization. Past cases have included overcapacity challenges of ocean carriers, congestion at marine port gates, rail-freight pricing with third-party logistics competitive responses, freight-haul routing optimization and motor carrier capacity crunches.
To learn more about the AACSB-accredited Georgia Southern University LIT program, visit GeorgiaSouthern.edu/bbalogistics.
*Issam Moussaoui, Ph.D., assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management, is quoted in this article.
Around this time last year, Atlanta-based shipping giant UPS was running behind on deliveries: more than three million packages a day were arriving late.
In response, the company announced in that it would invest about $7 billion on new facilities. This included a new southeast regional “super hub” a mile away from the Fulton County Airport near the Six Flags theme park.
It’s about the size of 19 football fields and the outside looks like any other warehouse.
But inside, it’s a maze. Eighteen miles of conveyor belts are diagonally stacked above each other. Look up towards the ceiling and millions of packages zip past — faster than the blink of an eye.
The boxes are tagged with smart labels, which carry information like origin and destination. Then they race through multiple scanners, including one that looks like a red camera tunnel. Kim Krebs, a media relations manager with UPS, explained it’s also called a six-sided scanner, during a tour of the facility.
“Regardless of the positioning of the box and where that smart label with all that information of where the box needs to go is, you can get it on all sides,” Krebs said.
This is just one way UPS is trying to improve its on-time delivery rate. With smarter technology, more automation, and fewer people sorting by hand.
The Atlanta facility’s human resources director Chris Franzoni, said there are about 3,000 people who work here in four shifts. About 700 people work alongside the machines at one time.
“We have a day sort, a twilight, a midnight and a sunrise position,” Franzoni said. “So basically we have a 24-hour operation.”
Compared to all of the metal and cardboard at this facility, however, it can be a while before you see a human.
More companies like UPS use automation to increase speed, make fewer mistakes and save money, said Issam Moussaoui, an assistant professor of logistics and supply chain management at Georgia Southern University.
“You can turn a machine on when needed and turn a machine off when not needed without much of a downside compared to human labor,” Moussaoui said.
It can take time to hire and train seasonal employees to meet the shipping rush during the holidays, Moussaoui said. But even as more companies like UPS move to more automation — it’s not always perfect. Moussaoui cites the electric car company Tesla.
“Midway through their implementation, they realized that there are still some aspects of the company’s production process that could be better done by people than by robots,” Moussaoui said.
It may be why many employees at the Atlanta UPS facility are on the ground floor, sorting through the large and irregular shaped packages passing by them at a slower speed on a conveyor belt.
Another place where humans play an important role is in the super hub’s master control room. At any time, about two dozen employees are watching 600 cameras and sensors. Dan Koozman is the control room manager for the daytime shift.
“By monitoring all the TVs up here, employees assist the operations down on the floor — giving them a heads up on heavy flow, and if there are jams where to move their people to keep it going,” Koozman said.
One of the software programs UPS customers uses is from ShipMatrix. The company’s president Satish Jindel, said the software helps companies track packages, and uses artificial intelligence to predict slowdowns and help major carriers to the right locations.
“If the packages show up in Baltimore, but you added drivers in Washington, you end up in trouble,” Jindel said. “You have enough drivers, but if they’re not in the right place, the guy in Washington cannot help the packages that are showing up in Baltimore.”
Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, UPS officials said the company expects to deliver more than 800 million packages.
Jindel said, this year, there’s a good chance, packages might actually come when you’re expecting them.
“I think this is turning out to be a perfect year for [the Post Office, FedEx and UPS],” Jindel said. “It’s showing to us even in the way they are approaching the customers to give them confidence that if you have more packages you want to make more sales and promotions go ahead and do that. We are ready to handle your business.”
During the peak holiday season this year, UPS had a nearly 98 percent on-time delivery rate.
Editor’s Note: This report has been updated to reflect UPS customers use ShipMatrix software, not UPS itself.
The College of Business at Georgia Southern University seeks to develop and promote a learning environment of the highest quality, characterized by inspired teaching and informed by meaningful research. The college emphasizes close interactions and engagement among faculty, students, and the business community. We offer undergraduate degrees in eight disciplines, three master’s programs, and a PhD in logistics and supply chain management. Our student-centered learning community presents, applies, and extends the current boundaries of knowledge surrounding today’s dynamic global business environment. Our faculty members create learning opportunities and knowledge, both theoretical and practical. We are a diverse community, united in pursuit of our common values: continuous improvement, excellence, integrity, accountability, and respect.
- Our face-to-face, part-time MBA offered at both our main Statesboro and Savannah campuses, engages students in dynamic classroom discussions, challenging case studies, and innovative problem-solving. The Savannah cohort-based program is designed for working professionals to complete the MBA in sixteen months. Students in both face-to-face programs have access to campus resources, clubs, out-of-classroom experiences, and interaction with classmates and faculty.
- Our nationally ranked Online MBA provides professionals a 21-month path to an MBA. The asynchronous, cohort-based online program, launched in 2001, enjoys high student satisfaction and graduation rates.
- Our online Master of Science in Applied Economics program provides graduates with analytical capabilities in economic development, financial economics, and regulatory issues. The program develops competencies in market analysis, quantitative analysis, regulatory industry analysis, and financial economics. Graduates compete for employment in financial institutions, industry, and government enterprises engaged in financial economic development, public utilities, and federal and state regulatory agencies.
- The PhD in logistics and supply chain management prepares students for academic positions in logistics and supply chain management. Graduates will be equipped to serve as knowledge brokers, with the ability to transfer understanding of logistics and supply chain management to audiences and provide leadership in this increasingly important and complex field. The core classes focus on advanced courses in logistics, transportation, and supply chain management, providing a broad-based foundation to the historical and current trends in these areas.
- Our AACSB International-accredited School of Accountancy provides quality educational programs through teaching, research, and service. Our BBA in Accounting, in conjunction with the Master of Accounting (MAcc) programs, puts the student on the path to becoming a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA). We also offer a fully-online WebMAcc program. One of our most popular accounting tracks is the fraud and forensic accounting track which leads to certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
- Our finance and economics degrees provide students with the foundation for careers in business, economics, law, and public policy. Our goal is to provide high quality instruction and service supported by an active agenda of applied and basic research.
- The BBA in information systems (IS) prepares students to increase business competitiveness through the application of information technology. Our IS Department also offers an online graduate certificate in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). Students in the ERP program receive an applied enterprise systems experience, while gaining hands-on experience using SAP.
- The BBA in logistics and intermodal transportation provides students with the problem-solving skills and supply chain knowledge needed to manage and lead modern organizations. Our courses develop critical-thinking skills using business statistics, optimization, and operations management.
- Our management degree offers emphasis areas in human resources, entrepreneurship, and hospitality management. The Center for Entrepreneurial Learning and Leadership is an integral component in our Business Innovation Group (BIG). BIG is currently expanding our City Campus in downtown Statesboro to include a Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab) and Incubator.
- The BBA in marketing incorporates business fundamentals and the current trends in today’s business environment. The marketing major offers students the ability to customize their plans of study with three specializations: sales and sales management, fashion merchandising, and retail management.