This reflective report will answer the following:
1) Four things that I have learned in this participation are about the importance of inventory, supply chain overview, collaboration and sustainable supply chain.
First, the importance of inventory is one of the precious knowledge that I have learned in this unit. Before the class, having inventory, in my opinion, is not significant to the operation of a company. The inventory itself relates closely to other important parts of operation such as procurement, cashflow management, and production. With the right amount of inventory, the production will be smoothly operated to supply the products to the market at the right time, the right amount which is the principles of supply chain management.
Secondly, this unit revealed my question of what a supply chain is with clear definitions and explanations across the unit. Having such knowledge enabled me to build up a solid foundation about the supply chain. With that foundation, I will be able to catch up with the current context of the supply chain globally which would support me in my future career by mapping, analyzing and optimizing the supply chain. Moreover, I also get the opportunity to delve into the case of a successful industry leader in the supply chain with various approaches to match with the reality at their company for example how Toyota approach toward supply chain with lean management.
The third thing that I have learned is about the role of collaboration. In the previous course of study, the way of thinking is looking into the internal side of a company and looking at other companies as separate parts. With this unit, I understand that companies within a supply chain should unite together to maximize the profits and benefits sustainably. Running a business alone without support from others is really a challenge. With the supply chain approach, a win-win solution that every firm looks at the supply chain as of their own company will output the most successful result.
Finally, making the supply chain is not only a costly process but it actually helps to gain profit. Before attending this unit, my concept about the green supply chain is about the costly project without gaining any actual benefits but good for the environment. With attention in this unit, my old concept has gone and I get a different thought about the green supply chain. With a proper setup and target, running a sustainable supply chain is greatly beneficial in the long run. With such approach, my future supply chain will have a green set up aims to benefit both the customers and the environment.
2) The online learning method is extremely amazing for someone like me. I can learn whenever and whatever I want. For instance, if I have some points I do not understand well about the lecture slides, I can search the keywords to get more information from online sources and everything is available 24/24 hour. Especially, I can find a huge resource of academic references from our online school account. And if I need something closer to reality, I would go to Google for further research as it would be described things more lively, even with pictures and videos. But in some case, there are many controversies on the Internet which makes me confused and get lost when I try to look for something relating to the lecture, or after a couple of hours, I still cannot understand some terms or definition as it is too complex and need a higher level of education to comprehend the context. So, without physics class, it is hard for me to ask my lecturer whenever I have a question.
After a long time research, I feel myself understand better how the Internet works and apply it to my real life, such as I will know where and what to do if I need to browse some information about my issue as the Internet opens a new world for me, I even know how to sell my glasses on eBay or I can do my resume and get a job online easily myself.
In addition, as a night owl, the night time is the perfect time to read and study without any interruptions. While all needed materials and lecture slides are provided through our school platforms, I can access them easily from my comfortable home. Besides, I can learn with rhythms that suit my abilities as I can access the online moodle at any time. I do not have to catch up or compete with anyone, just my self-paced learning and my discipline to commit the deadline of the assignments and final exam. Therefore, the comfort at home might be a disadvantage, sometimes, I cannot control and force myself to stay at the desk to study but lie down on my fluffy bed. But to beat the deadline, you need to put yourself in a discipline. All of the motivations to study online come from me, so the online learning method teaches me how to self-discipline.
3) There are a few improvements that I would suggest which are about this unit. First, there should be one or two case studies that go through all the course. The reason that we need such case study is to demonstrate the supply chain in a more straightforward way and easier for the student to connect between different aspects of the unit (in this case, it can be meant as a different lesson). With one big case, the student can find out how the thing matches together such as how a multimodal transportation work and who should look for it or which kind of approach should use multimodal.
Besides that, I also suggest an on-hand experience at local companies with real activities which allows the student to get a better insight of technologies or ERP system is being used. Let say, they may visit Coles to understand the retails industry. It is important for the student to observe the real life situations where one of the small changes may influence the operation significantly. Such activities, if any, would be a very valuable added value to the course and especially to the student experience.
Finally, students should get a lesson about the future trend of the supply chain from the unit. For example, multimodal is rising with new technology or fintech would help the procurement to be optimized in the future. Even students will be able to get their own evaluation about the future trend, the direction that the unit provides would let them feel confident about what they observe. Furthermore, with such framework, the students can narrow down their field of study in the future in case they are in need of such.
In my opinion, such suggestions are good enough for the unit to become useful and practical for the student in the future.