Bus veteran wins supply chain scholarship

Brisbane bus and coach veteran Skye Naismith is changing her public transport perspective with a supply chain course

Bus veteran wins supply chain scholarship
Bus veteran wins supply chain scholarship

By Sean Muir | November 27, 2012

Freight logistics and public transport are often regarded as two very distinct sectors.

But, as Brisbane-based Mt Gravatt Coach & Travel General Manager Skye Naismith is finding out, the two disciplines have more in common than people might think.

Naismith (pictured) recently won the inaugural Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA), Queensland Division scholarship to study the Supply Chain & Logistics Management Course at the University of Queensland (UQ).

Attending the
week-long course's
second session today, Naismith says she is already ‘starting to see the big picture’ and where buses fit within it.

"It’s opening up my world," Naismith says.

"We are looking at case studies of Coles and Big W and companies that have big distribution networks, and where each individual mode fits into that whole chain.

"So, for me, even though we are learning about trucks and freight and that side of it, I am looking at it from a bus perspective.

"I’m moving people instead of a product, but it’s showing me how I can do that more innovatively. It is a different way of looking at it, but there are so many similarities, and at the end of the day a lot of the course is based on change management, identifying innovation and implementing changes."

Naismith has been working at Mt Gravatt Coach & Travel for 18 years and has been the company’s general manager since 2004.

But she says it wasn’t until the past two days that it became clear how easily processes date at companies like Mt Gravatt Coach & Travel, which has been operating for 35 years.

"You get a bit stale in your job and you just do things because that was the way they were done," she says.

The course appears to have already had such an impact on Naismith that she is considering reviewing Mt Gravatt Coach & Travel's government contract, as contract reform looms for
bus and coach operators.

"Coming into 2013 we face government contract reform, so it’s important to think outside the square," she says.

"The first thing I am going to do when I go back is do some activity-based costing to find out if it is worth it for us maintaining our contract or if we are better off putting our resources elsewhere.

"The course has pointed out the importance of looking within the business at exactly what we do, what we are good at, and what actually brings us the most profit. Is it the thing that is taking up all of our time and energy or not?"

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