Students are top of the CLASS with Cirrus Logistics

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Cirrus Logistics is supporting the education of budding logistics professionals at South Essex College of Further and Higher Education.

Through the provision of its industry-leading warehouse layout and simulation solution CLASS, and network optimisation tool COST2SERV, the company is enabling students to apply their knowledge and teaching of live supply chain operations in a virtual computer environment.

Students studying for a Business, Logistics and Supply Chain Level 3 Extended Diploma now have the opportunity to learn how computer modelling can be used to create and support ideas that enhance operational best practice.

The CLASS solution is developed exclusively for Warehouses/Distribution Centres. It allows users to design, test and re-fine complex layouts and workflows digitally by changing different parameters and measuring their impact. The specialist software has already yielded significant efficiency gains in warehouses and supported the investment decisions of companies such as John Lewis, ASDA, and Waitrose.

As part of their studies, students will be making visits to warehouse operations where they will be able to relate their CLASS software learning with a live environment. At the end of the course, the students will be tasked to design a warehouse operation to a given specification using CLASS, with the final output being presented to Cirrus Logistics for feedback.

Mark Bentley, supply chain and logistics development manager, South Essex College, and an active member of the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport (CILT) said: "Our courses are designed to develop the skills and knowledge that will serve the supply chain and logistics sector. We look to give our students authentic learning experiences. We selected CLASS because of the impressive number of businesses that use the software to test and enhance their operations. Partnering with Cirrus Logistics was a natural choice."

Study programmes will be further enriched with the introduction of COST2SERV added to the curriculum in February, 2017. COST2SERV was created by Cirrus Logistics specifically for organisations with complex national or international distribution networks. It enables companies with numerous sourcing and distribution options to identify the most cost-effective method of fulfilling demand.

The software is used to formulate network infrastructure and supply strategies by a variety of industries including oil and gas companies, high street retailers, and FMCG. ConocoPhilips, one of the world's largest oil refiners, has used COST2SERV in its European operations for over a decade to optimise its supply chain.

In addition to supplying the software, Cirrus Logistics provided training support for three lecturers over five days. Bentley added: "The software was quick to learn and our students have been keen to explore its functionality. It's providing our young learners with the opportunity to develop meaningful skills that will help them be 'job ready'."

South Essex College is now looking at the possibility of increasing the number of students that can benefit from using the software, and introducing some learners from other courses for taster sessions.

Simon Shore, managing director, Cirrus Logistics, commented: "Logistics is a global business with great career opportunities in the UK and throughout the world. We're delighted to be linked with South Essex College and that many young logisticians of tomorrow are using our software to gain a fascinating insight into the industry. We wish them all every success."

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