UK business got a significant boost after Lord Digby Jones Kt has officially opened the Supply Chain Academy at Upminster, the country's newest educational establishment focusing purely on excellence in global business supply chain management.
The recent opening ceremony was followed by lunch in the restored Edwardian building, Upminster Court, which houses the Academy and senior guests from Marks and Spencer, Samsung, DP World, the Department of Business Innovation and Skills and many other executives from retail and manufacturing witnessed the opening of a unique learning and development facility.
Lord Jones commented in his after lunch speech: "Training that takes place in a Premier Inn by the side of a dual carriageway is not going to inspire anyone." And he contrasted this with the Supply Chain Academy, based in London, with its painstakingly restored training rooms, outstanding facilities set in eight acres of landscaped gardens.
"This Academy makes a statement, and the statement is that learning and skills development are critically important. The Supply Chain Academy is an inspirational venue for those new to business and for those for whom business is deeply ingrained."
Although the Supply Chain Academy opens its doors officially this week it has already been engaged in training with big names like Marks and Spencer plc and DP world helping them to take on the challenges that the new major global players, India and China are setting.
The Academy is breaking new ground with T-shaped management training, giving experienced managers a wider knowledge to enable them to work collaboratively in all areas of their business. In a rapidly changing world where routes to market are becoming increasingly complicated then skills development in multi-channel management and their practical use is at the forefront of the Academy's offer.
The Supply Chain Academy's Edwardian building is rich in fine mouldings and cornicing which have been restored to their original condition, the bedrooms for delegate use are luxuriously furnished and finished, the food on offer is carefully and tastefully created onsite by a skilful chef.
Zen Yaworsky, Programme Director, The supply Chain Academy said:
"As well as businesses who manage their own supply chains, those companies who service these businesses - accountancy, legal, insurance, banking and property companies are all registering an interest or engaging with the Academy; they recognise the need to develop an intelligent business empathy with their customers.
Echoing Lord Jones's assertion that Britain needs creative and strongly business minded management to help us out of recession, the Supply Chain Academy is committed to developing "intrapreneurs"; managers who have the commercial energy and inspiration to turn ideas and innovation into profitable ventures within a company."
He went on to say: "Our vision is to support industry, not only through developing high-level practice, but by unifying capabilities across the supply chain. We want to encourage intrapreneurialsm. We want to give industry the tools to release value from their supply chains."
The tools that the Academy employs involve high quality course material covering Supply Chain Risk Management, Negotiation Techniques, Cost Structure Analysis, Business Finance, The Law of Terms and Conditions, Direct Sourcing, Process Improvement, Planning and Forecasting, Customer Service, Inventory Management and Supply Chain Design amongst a field of other course offers.
The Academy has partnered with industry experts, trade institutions and bodies to develop the highest standard of training offering. It is a totally privately funded venture with no expectation of tax payers' money to support it and the offer is for both day and residential courses to allow flexibility for the manager or executive. The courses are real value for money and the guarantee is that everyone who attends will get a return on their training investment.
It is these two countries in particular who are setting the pace and Digby Jones was clear in his message, "...if you don't want China to "eat your lunch" and India your dinner then you need to invest in making sure that you know how to run the business that you are in better than you have ever done before. The Supply Chain Academy is going to contribute to that effort and I congratulate them."
The Academy is based in the London Borough of Havering; 25 minutes from Fenchurch Street Station in London.