Summit calls for one industry voice

The 6th annual Queensland Supply Chain and Logistics Summit yesterday called on Australia's 114 industry bodies to forget their politics and merge

Summit calls for one industry voice
Summit calls for one industry voice

By Anna Game-Lopata | September 2, 2011

The highly fragmented supply chain industry voice is preventing effective communication with government and stifling the development of a positive image in the wider community according to the 6th annual Queensland Supply Chain and Logistics Summit held in Brisbane yesterday.

Part of the 2011 Queensland Supply Chain and Logistics Conference, the Summit represented leading industry groups and companies
the likes of
Costa Logistics, Lands Transport Options, BCR Australia and the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council, among others.

Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA) Facilitator Gary Pearson says the annual Summit aims to move from "talking" to "doing" in terms of outcomes.

To achieve such action, Pearson last year formed the Supply Chain Industry Group (SCIG), a body intended to represent the common concerns of all Australia’s major industry organisations.

"The SCIG is still developing its membership," Pearson says. "But its clear aim is to progress industry projects arising from issues raised at each Summit."

Over one hundred issues were raised last year under the three main themes which remain constant: Environment, Infrastructure and People.

"Projects coming out of last year’s Summit included a pilot graduate program to entice organisations to fund graduate placements, technical work on maximising the efficiency of water coolers in refrigerated facilities and an online induction process," Pearson says.

This year, participants unanimously called for the SCIG to apply itself to marketing the supply chain as one profession with one industry body.

Summit representatives demanded the many small Logistics and Supply Chain bodies put aside their differences and merge to form one powerful
organisation with a large membership base.

This body would be expected to act alongside the Australian Logistics Council (ALC), which is seen as a body more closely aligned with government and well placed to act as
a conduit for industry.

Such a merged industry body would enable a truly national conference to be held in a variety of regional centres each year, rather than a Queensland-based event, with competition around Australia.

"We need one body, one voice singing from the rooftops and one national conference," the group agreed.

A more unified presence and "brand" for the supply chain profession would improve the industry’s recognition within the wider community, as well as its ability to communicate
its agendas to government.

With a clear image and message, the
profession would also attract new talent better, rather than waiting for people to "fall into it".

The Summit also raised the need for more clarity on government policy in relation to the recently announced Carbon Tax and Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

Participants agreed there is more room for innovative thinking in terms of reducing carbon footprint and utilising green technologies, however the process must be
incentive based rather than punitive.

The need for consistent formal supply chain qualifications and more school based promotional programs was also discussed at length, including ways to engage regional centres.

Summit participants also agreed there is a need to bolster federal government buy-in to more nationally integrated supply chain infrastructure strategies, but in the meanwhile better utilisation of existing infrastructure must be achieved.

This year's SCIG agenda arising from the Summit will be announced in coming weeks.

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