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Welcome Address By Professor Cheah Horn Mun At The Supply Chain Challenge++ Finals

Welcome Address By Professor Cheah Horn Mun, Dean, S R Nathan School of Human Development, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) At The Supply Chain Challenge++ Finals On Wed, July 25, 2018, 2:30 p.m., The Performing Arts Theatre, SUSS

Mr Kay Kong Swan, Chairman of the Singapore Logistics Association (SLA)
Mr Simon Ong, Deputy Chief Executive, Singapore Land Authority
Industry and Institution Partners, students from our partner institutions
Ladies and gentlemen;

Good afternoon.

  1. I am very pleased to join you today – the grand finals of the 2018 Supply Chain Challenge ++.
  1. To all the participating teams present today, congratulations for making it to the finals! I understand that this has been a uniquely challenging experience for most, if not all of you. It represented a space where you not only challenged yourself, but also your ability to work together under demanding conditions.
  1. I hope you have grown through this experience, and more importantly, you have made friends and be proud that you have come through it. So, once again. Well done!
Learning and Agility

  1. Just as in many industrial sectors, the Supply Chain and Logistics industry faces continual disruptions brought about by technological advancements, Artificial Intelligence, changing expectations of customers, unexpected competitors and uncertainties surrounding economic, political and environmental conditions.
  1. The challenge being posed to the Supply Chain and Logistics industry is not just about surviving this constant onslaught, but to actually thrive in it. How do we ensure that there is proactive “Skill Learning and Technology Adoption” – the theme of this year’s competition? How do companies constantly build its capability and agility in innovation?
  1. When Singapore repeatedly top the ranking in international comparison assessments in Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) aka “The World Cup for Education”, researchers were exceedingly curious how we did it. It is actually no great secret – it is built on good school leaders and good teachers. In other words, it is primarily about the quality of the people in the education workforce.
  1. In a similar way, the continual success of the Supply Chain and Logistics industry will depend on its people. An organization’s capacity to learn, adopt swiftly and innovate comes down to their people. For companies, your capacity to innovate comes down to how your talent pool, and your commitment to building knowledge and competencies within your people. Empowering your people to learn is a strategic enabler.
  1. And for individuals, or employees, it is about how we each embrace lifelong learning, keeping our skills updated, and better still, always keeping ahead and anticipating how our jobs will evolve. How we stay nimble and keen as an agile, collaborative learner will help make us valued employees of our companies.
  1. By successfully reaching this final, you have already taken important steps towards learning and applying your learning in innovative ways. You will have to bring the skills, and importantly, your mindsets as you dive deeper in this industry.
Affirmation Of Our Common Goal – MOU Affirmation

  1. Both SLA and SUSS share a common goal to develop human capital and talent to meet the needs of the logistics industry. Our partnership with SLA since its beginning in 2008 has been a most fruitful one. We have pooled resources in areas of common interest to increase the impact of our collaboration, promote innovation breakthroughs and boost the talent pool in the industry and boost our ability and capacity to compete in world markets.
  1. At this 10-year mark of our partnership with SLA, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to SLA for their dedication to and support for our students and our University. Working alongside with the team from SLA, we are able to ensure our programmes are relevant to the industry needs, and our students have benefited so much from exposure to best practices in the industry through classroom seminars, visits to logistics companies in Singapore and overseas study trips, many of which were facilitated with the help and support of SLA.
  1. And our special thanks also goes to Mr Stanley Lim, the Immediate Past Chairman and current the Honorary Treasurer of SLA, who sacrifices his time and experience as a Chairman of our Advisory Panel for the Logistics and Supply Chain Management Programme.
  1. We are also grateful for the support and encouragement shown to our students through the SLA Scholarships and many other interesting initiatives.
  1. We look forward to yet another five years of exciting and rewarding collaboration when we re-affirm our MOU this afternoon.
Making A Social Impact

  1. The logistics industry forms the backbone of Singapore’s economy and plays a key part in our everyday lives. (According to the Economic Development Board (EDB), the industry is a vital part of the Transportation and Storage sector that accounts for 7% of Singapore’s GDP in 2017, and employs close to 7% of Singapore’s workforce. As Singapore continues to enhance our leading position as a logistics hub in Asia and drive growth, we need not only just new talent, but talent that are agile, tenacious and open to new challenges.
  1. At today’s competition, I can sense a great deal of energy and passion amongst the finalists. It is also with a somewhat similar energy and passion that fuelled the formation of SUSS, 13 years ago.
  1. In our short history, SUSS has built a strong reputation as the leading university that provides lifelong education for a wide spectrum of learners. Our diverse student base creates a rich learning environment by bringing together people from all walks of life: from young school-leavers with fresh perspectives to working adults with valuable industry experience and on-the-ground know-how. Organic networking amongst our students begins from day one.
  1. In line with our applied-oriented approach, many members of our faculty are industry practitioners who bring rich, relevant insights and approaches to their classrooms. They are carefully selected for their experience and passion in creating social impact.
  1. In SUSS, we take pride in fostering a strong spirit of innovation. Besides being a pioneer in online education, we also promote a strong culture of entrepreneurship amongst our faculty and students. Our strong focus on Applied Learning empowers us to work closely with industry, employers and regional partners to ensure our students are well prepared to meet the challenges of the digital revolution head on, and contribute to society in different ways with lasting impact. Today’s event is testimony to how we collaborate with industry to prepare and bring real-world challenges to our student’s learning journey and create an impetus for innovative thinking.
  1. Additionally, our faculty and students actively conduct applied research so that we can help shape public policy and social systems for the better. With our social sciences focus in SUSS, we also ensure there is strong interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, anchored upon our unique and holistic curriculum philosophy.
  1. As part of Singapore’s aggressive push to prepare our workforce to be agile and future-ready for disruption and new economic growth, SUSS is also one of the six autonomous universities mandated by the Singapore government to develop and implement a whole suite of “tech-enabled” Skills Future programmes.
  1. We have had much success in supporting several large government agencies and private organisations help their employees, including mid-career switchers or matured workers, to undergo skills upgrading or skills conversion, thereby facilitating their movement into new occupations or sectors with good prospects for progression.
Collaboration Crucial For Success

  1. Finally, I would like to thank all the industry partners who have consistently provided your strong support to our University and today’s event. To the mentor industry partners – Allied Container Group, Bok Seng, Sin Chew, ThunderQuote, VersaFleet, Winspec - thank you for your generosity in spending your time and resources with the contestants. I am sure they have benefitted much from your coaching.
  1. We want to also acknowledge Geoworks, this year’s new technology partner. We deeply appreciate the expert advice you have been providing to the teams. You have certainly added a new dimension of intensity to the competition this year! Our thanks also go out to our institution partners – the five polytechnics and the Institution of Technical Education (ITE) for opening your doors to us, and always being there to support and provide feedback to us.
  1. To our friends from SLA – it has always been our honour to work with you and we look forward to many more years of collaboration. Together we want to forge an even stronger partnership so as to support and make an impact for the Logistics industry in Singapore and the region.
  1. Last but not least, we want to thank all participants of this competition. Thank you for stepping up and rising up to the challenge! To the finalists, congratulations. You have made it thus far. It is our privilege to be part of your learning journey. The road ahead is long and hard, it is also filled with wonders and surprises. You have already started on the journey, whether it is a good one depends on you. Enjoy it, and may you have every success.
Thank you.​
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