Saturday, 22 November 2014

GS1 Meets @ MITRANS, 21 November 2014

GS1, an international organisation which strives for uniformity in technical aspects of logistics (e.g. bar coding and classification of goods) as well as for visibility and transparency in the supply chain, has a Malaysian chapter which does its work through the Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers Transport Facilitation Working Group (FMM TFWG), met at MITRANS for its last meeting of the 2014 quarter. Many of the members of this group are SMEs and MITRANS is happy to play its role in promoting this sector of industry.

Hence, MITRANS has offered to host all future GS1 meetings at its premises as well as contribute to capacity building of industry through its expertise in training. MITRANS also intends to contribute its research findings with GS1. This strategic alliance with an organisation with industry will ensure that MIRANS keeps its focus on developing transport and logistics solutions which are relevant to industry and not simply depart on research which is purely academic in nature and there lose its relevance to industry.

Ariffin Buranudeen, the charismatic Managing Director of Cold Chain Network (CCN), chaired the meeting in his capacity of Chairperson of the FMM TFWG.

Meeting to Plan a National Level Green Logistics Seminar, 20 November 2014

From 9.00 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. on 20 November 2014, the organising committee met to work out the details for a seminar provisionally titled: 'Green Logistics: A Strategy for Reducing the Cost of Business?'. The meeting was Chaired by Puan Nur Farizan Tarudin, who has been designated by MITRANS to handle all administrative matters relating to Green Logistics. She now has her hands full because MITRANS has been appointed by the Malaysian Government as the research and consultancy hub for green logistics nationally. This means Puan Farizan will be coordinating all national initiatives in this sector of logistics. Puan Farizan is the right person for the job as she spent her M.Sc years researching 'Street Turn as a Green Logistics Tool for Managing the Transportation of Empty Containers'.

This seminar is the first project which is funded by the Ministry of Transport and organised with the help go MITRANS. The tentative date for this national event is 10 December 2014. The keynote speaker is Prof Dr Ir Ruslan, Malaysia's renowned 'Green Guru'. The seminar will be divided into two parts. The morning session will consist of the presentation of papers. However, the after session will be reserved for a panel discussion where the floor will be permitted to raise questions and make observations on green logistics issues and management strategies to make businesses leaner and more agile.

MITRANS at UiTM's Postgraduate Education Fair, Shah Alam ConventionCentre, 8 November 2014

'Postgraduate Education ... Just for You' is a special postgraduate recruitment event held for students interested in signing up for postgraduate programmes in UiTM. MITRANS also had a booth set up to attract those who were interested in signing up for the M.SC and Ph.D programmes in Transport and Logistics. Both academic and administrative staff under the leadership of Assoc Prof Dr Sariwati, spent hours patiently answering queries about both research programmes.

Workshop for Institutional Cooperation for Sustainable Transport, Bilik Latihan ICT, MOT, Putrajaya, 13 November 2014

Sustainable transportation is a phrase that is frequently associated with public transportation. As much of public transport is used to achieve connectivity in urban areas, achieving sustainability in ay such related project is a real challenge. It is in this context that all institutional aspects of public transport, especially its regulators, should achieve an unprecedented level of co-orperation in order to meet this challenge.

Hence, it was time for a workshop on this issue to be conducted at national level, in order for all the relevant institutional stakeholder to meet out and forge a more effective working relationship. The following individuals represented MITRANS at this event: Assoc Prof Sabariah Mohammed (Head of Training and CiLT Examination Board Matters), Dr Zaharah Ishak, Miss Nurul Elma Kordi and Miss Nur Farizan Tarudin.

MQA Audit for Ph.D Programme in Transport and Logistics, 12-13 November 2014

We were delighted to have the auditors from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) with us at MITRANS over the last two days. Team MQA audit team was led by the renowned supply chain expert, Prof Dr Suhaiza Hanim. She was assisted by Dr Adam Mohd Saifudin and Dr Muhammad Zaly Shah. All three individuals were experts in the following fields: Logistics, Transportation and Supply Chain Management. Pn Rohasni handled most of the administrative matters on behalf of the audit team.

For the last two days, the MQA have been inspection documents, evaluating standard operating procedures and interviewing individuals in connection with the LT990 programme. There was even a site visit to ensure that the physical facilities and other academic resources were up to the standard in supporting a research based programme such as LT990, i.e. Ph.D in Transport and Logistics.

On the final day of the audit, the panel gave feedback to MITRANS on what improvement could be done. Although much of what MITRANS was doing was very good, there was still room for improvement and this is where the panel focussed its attention. We at MITRANS are very grateful for the feedback as it will enable us to make an already good postgraduate research programme even better.

Signing of Letter of Intent with Cardiff University, MITRANS Meeting Room, 5 November 2014

Professor Kent Matthews, the Associate Dean of Cardiff Business School (CARBS) and Miss Sarah Sherrington-Rees, its International Relations Executive Officer, visited MITRANS to carry out the signing of a letter of intent (LOI) with UiTM. In particular, the letter of intent identified the area of transport and logistics for collaboration between UiTM and CARBS. Operationalising this LOI on behalf of UiTM, MITRANS will put into place the necessary collaborative measures which will lead to the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Cardiff University.

Such collaboration already exists in the field of transport and logistics between these two institutions. Many of the academic staff at MITRANS are Cardiff University alumni, i.e. and therefore part of the 'Cardiff Mafia' (as described lovingly by former Head of the Logistics and Operations Management Unit, retired Professor Peter Marlow). For a further example of collaboration, currently, Dr Rawindaran Nair is co-supervisor to Commander Aminuddin, who is researching various aspects of 'Short Sea Shipping'. Dr Rawindaran was also a co-consultant when MITRANS was engaged to advice the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) on whether a block exemption should be granted for liner shipping in Malaysia.

It therefore makes perfect sense to put some sort of formal footing to this relationship. It would help both organisations meet their keep performance indicators (KPIs) on inter-organisational collaboration, as well as legitimise and give formal recognition to the hard work that it being performed collaboratively between the academic staff of both organisations. Otherwise, these strides of cooperation may be lost in the annals of history. It would particularly be helpful for those who are around 30 years or more from now, for they would have the documentary evidence to appreciate that the road was paved for them by pioneers who reached out to one another across vast oceans.

Prof Saadiah Yahya (Director of MITRANS) was present and officiated the signing ceremony. She also took the time to hand over tokens of appreciation to both Prof Kent and Miss Sarah. In return, Prof Kent reciprocated by gifting MITRANS with something uniquely special to Wales, the 'Love Spoon'. It is definitely a sign of the good things to come in the future because arguably, there is no stronger relationship than one forged with love.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

CILTM Convocation, SACC, 1 November 2014

The 2014 Convocation ceremony for the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport was rather special for MITRANS. Both Assoc Prof Dr Sariwati (Head of Postgraduate Studies at MITRANS) and Yours Truly (Head of Legal and Corporate Communications) were both elected as Chartered Members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport of Malaysia (CILTM). Henceforth, both Dr Sariwati and Yours Truly can now use CMILT in our list of qualifications, I.e. Chartered Member of the Institute of  Logistics and Transport. By the way, congratulations to all the transport and logistics graduates at the convocation.

As usual, the convocation ceremony began with registration. The VIPs were then escorted to their seats at the front of the hall. Luminaries from all sectors of the transport and logistics industry were present.

For the second time in CILTM's history, members of the one of Malaysia's finest branch of the Armed Forces, i.e. the Navy, were in attendance. This year, CILTM recognised the contributions of senior staff of the Navy and thus conferred upon them Chartered Membership by way of election. This is a reflection of the fact that in real life, many of the commercial practices in the commercial side of the logistics industry, owes a great deal to techniques and processes developed by the Armed Forces, who are practitioners of the art of moving goods and people in extremely difficult situations. Sitting behind these fine officers were members of academia and industry who were also receiving their Chartered Membership today.

On the other side of the convocation hall, were seated the graduates from various private and government institutions who had graduated from transport and logistics degree programmes. The programmes are recognised by CILTM as the equivalent of the CILTM Professional Qualification Exams (PQE), thus entitling these individuals to also graduate with a CILTM qualification.

Here are shots of the tireless individuals who have made the ceremony a success. The Mistress of Ceremonies, the traditional music band and the audio visual guys hidden from from at the back of the hall.

The convocation ceremony then commenced. Here are some highlights of the presentation of the degrees and professional qualifications: