Tuesday, September 15, 2009 4:40 PM
Addressing the Key Questions
Brian J. Gibson, Ph.D., Auburn University
Over the next twelve months, I’ll be preparing and posting brief articles on a wide spectrum of logistics topics related to transportation, inventory management, warehousing, and customer service. You’ll read about current events, industry issues, emerging strategies, and the many challenges of managing supply chains.
I have to admit that I hadn’t thought much about blogs or blogging until the SCA leaders approached me about this opportunity. So, what exactly is a blog? A brief foray into the topic helped me realize that blogs can be much more than personal diaries or opinion pages. A well-written industry blog by a knowledgeable professional, such as the Logistics Viewpoints posts from Adrian Gonzalez, provides readers with valuable insights in quick, easy to read entries.
That leads to an obvious follow-on question: what makes Brian Gibson a knowledgeable logistics professional and blogger? A quick review of my industry and academic background should help to affirmatively answer the question. I graduated in 1984 from Central Michigan University where I majored in marketing with a concentration in physical distribution (that’s what they called logistics in the old days). Over the next eight years, I worked in retail distribution center and transportation operations for Dayton-Hudson Corporation (known today as Target Corporation) and Meijer, Inc. Along the way, I earned an MBA and learned a great deal more from the trials and tribulations of being a front-line logistics manager.
A return to academia led to a doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee in Logistics and Transportation. It was in Knoxville that I learned the importance of practical, industry-focused research and the value of staying connected to current events in the logistics field from the likes of Dr. John Langley and Dr. Ray Mundy. After a five year stint at Georgia Southern University, I am now in my eleventh year on the College of Business faculty of Auburn University as Professor of Logistics and SCM.
I remain closely attuned to the logistics industry through ongoing research, executive education, and consulting activities. A variety of writing activities also keep me focused on the key issues in our field. I have had the opportunity to co-author current editions of two logistics and transportation textbooks, write a quarterly supply chain strategies column for a produce industry trade journal, and develop more than a dozen SCA courses and presentations. These activities and experiences have prepared me well for this blogger role, but I admit that the professor in me will find it tricky to keep my entries brief.
The last critical question relates to content. Tell us, what topics will the SCA Logistics Blog cover? Honestly, I’m keeping my options open on this question and don’t want to firmly commit to a long list of topics. I will keep my eyes and ears open for relevant content as I read, travel to conferences, and meet with logistics thought leaders.
Based on recent activities and interactions, I do have a few ideas working their way onto my computer. Upcoming blogs will focus on overcapacity in the containership industry, inventory challenges for retailers, supply chain risk management, and economy-related logistics issues. Of course, I’m always open to your ideas for blog topics and want your feedback on existing blog entries. You can email topics to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ultimately, my goal is to raise your awareness level, pique your curiosity, and encourage you to think beyond the daily logistics problems and firefighting that often consume your attention. That may be an ambitious agenda, but I’m up to the challenge!