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CILT Alumni Launch

The Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Ireland were proud to officially launch the CILT Alumni Group. There were over two hundred in attendance on the night comprising of past and present CILT Students, third level students, Industry professionals and Senior Academics. This was one of the biggest events that CILT Ireland has organised to date. The event also aimed to facilitate networking amongst logistics and supply chain professionals from a wide range of companies and sectors.

In his opening remarks CILT Marketing Manager Michéal Lynham welcomed attendees and explained that the launch of the Alumni Group was one of the major projects for CILT Ireland. Michéal paid tribute to all the past and present chairs of the Education & Training Committee along with the longest standing member of the Committee Chris Mc Glinn FCILT for his valuable input over the years to CILT education and training. Michéal also thanked CILT Diploma Course Director Pat Mullen (Logicert) FCILT for his outstanding contribution to education over the last 14 years. The Institute have educated and up skilled hundreds of Irelands leading logistics and supply chain professionals.

Michéal then welcomed CILT International President Dr. Dorothy Chain who made a short address about the importance of the global professional body CILT to our industry. Dr. Chan congratulated CILT Ireland on establishing its new Alumni Group for students to share their experiences and to network with each other. Michéal then welcomed Professor Martin Christopher of Cranfield University and invited him to deliver his presentation entitled “Supply Chain Past, Present and Future”. Prof. Christopher has been at the forefront of the development of new thinking in logistics and supply chain management for over thirty years.

His contribution to the theory and practice of logistics and supply chain management is refl ected in the many international awards that he has received. His published work is widely cited by other scholars and he has been invited to participate in academic and industry events around the world. He was also one of the fi rst to recognise that the real competition is between supply chains not companies and he has sought to identify ways in which supply chain excellence can be achieved and sustained.

At Cranfi eld School of Management, one of the world’s premier business schools, Martin has helped build the Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management into a leading centre of excellence. Under his leadership the centre became one of the foremost focal points for innovative teaching and research in logistics and supply chain management. Now, after leading the Centre for over 20 years, Martin Christopher has become an Emeritus Professor and has broadened his portfolio of activities in the realm of knowledge creation and dissemination in these critical areas.

Prof. Christopher’s presentations focused on where supply chain began, new competitive realities in the marketplace, the third industrial revolution and its impact on the supply chain landscape. He brought attendees through the idea of supply chain management (circa. 1982) to its full adoption (circa. 1997). He spoke in some detail about the challenges in the commercial business environment – volatility and economic uncertainty, reduction in disposable income of consumers, profit margins decline, changing climate of retail modelling. These challenges have forced many companies to do more with fewer resources. Prof. Christopher also looked at dynamic capabilities where over time there has been a move from economics of scale to economies of scope (more with less) to economies of integration (sharing resources – vertical and horizontal integration).

The presentation ended with an insight into the third industrial revolution which sees companies wrestling with digital communications, rapid manufacturing, customisation and servitisation of products. Prof. Christopher asked professionals could they see the future of supply chain management?

Following his address, Michéal Lynham facilitated a short Q&A session before bringing the formal part of the evening to a close. CILT Ireland President Finbarr Cleary gave a word of thanks and stated

“International President, Fellow members and Guests it is my great pleasure as President of CILT in Ireland to propose a vote of thanks to Professor Martin Christopher for taking time out of his busy schedule to come here today and in particular for giving us such a wonderful and insightful key note address. Professor you are one of the foremost leaders in Supply Chain management, you have been at the forefront of the development of new thinking in logistics and supply chain management and in the ways in which supply chain excellence can be achieved and sustained. You have many disciples here tonight, not only existing students, but also past students, industry leaders and academics from across the country which is a refl ection of the very high standing you are held in. To confirm the point this is one of the largest attendances we have had at an event for many years. I know that I speak for everybody when I say we are glad we made it here tonight. Your brilliant presentation, full of knowledge, insight, research and innovative thought has captivated us and informed and encouraged us to continue to learn, develop and improve our supply chain systems. Professor we are very grateful for you coming here this evening and addressing us. I would like to thank Michéal Lynham for organising this event. Many thanks”.

Pat Mullen (Logicert) was then called upon to address the guests. Pat Mullen said “This is the second Alumni Event we have organised. The numbers tonight are much higher than the last time. It is really great to see so many of my students here tonight. I believe this great attendance is a testament to how successful our Diploma course has become but also to the reputation and drawing power of Professor Christopher. And remember that the professor had serious competition tonight with the Ireland v Scotland game on the telly.

If you can cast your minds back to the time you attended the course you will remember that I used more quotations from Martin Christopher’s works that from any other expert source. We held Professor Christopher in great esteem and referred to him as the SC Chief Guru and the High Priest of Logistics & SCM. Many of you have bought Martin’s books and have accessed his material on-line. Martin’s material together with our course manuals have become your SC Bibles. Martin mentioned many of the great logistics authors down through the years, many of whom are now deceased. Martin himself ranks among the greatest, he is still with us and we are honoured to have him with us tonight.

Now, thanks to our Marketing Manager Michéal Lynham, who has organised and promoted this event, we have all had the opportunity of hearing Martin Christopher live. In 2001 I resigned my position as Logistics Manager with a large multinational so that I could dedicate myself full time to Logistics and Supply Chain Education. Keenly aware from my Logistics Management experience of the shortage of practical SC courses in Ireland I designed and developed the programme and syllabus and wrote the 8 course manuals for our Diploma.

I then linked up with CILT Ireland. We entered a joint venture and I as course director provide and deliver the course and CILT certify and administer it. We are now into our 14th year of the course and have graduated 560 students. The course has gone from strength to strength since 2001 and has gained strong currency with a reputation for excellence and practicality. The Diploma has gained a high level of brand recognition in the industry. The course has gained a substantial market share and has attracted students from a wide range of leading companies. The Diploma has contributed substantially to CILT gaining an education reputation in the Logistics arena thereby helping the Institute to deliver on its mission statement.

Many of you have gone on to take the degree in Supply Chain in CIT Cork. I prepared this degree for our Diploma students and managed and lectured it for a number of years until it was well established. Large numbers of our students have grown successful careers resulting from their participation in the Diploma. Many of you hold senior management positions with Ireland’s leading companies. You are hiring our graduates and are enthusiastically recommending your colleagues to take the course. I would ask you to continue to form a strong Alumni network. Support one another and I would especially like to thank Martin Christopher for his support of our diploma by his presence here tonight and his really excellent address”.

Dr. Chan presented the CILT WiLAT group with a group membership certifi cate on the night also. Attendees also heard from CILT Council Members Janet Kavanagh and Mark Delaney about the importance of networking and the new CILT Alumni group. The supply chain discussions then continued in earnest with Martin’s views on a variety of issues sought by a large number of the assembled CILT graduates, Industry professionals, Senior Academics, and current CILT students.

The event was well and truly enjoyed by all and the response has been universally positive. CILT Ireland would like to record its thanks to Prof. Martin Christopher for taking time out of his busy schedule to address our event. We look forward to many further such events over the coming months and years for all our graduates.


Main Image: Tim Hayes (CILT CEO), Pat Mullen (Logicert), Dr. Chan (CILTInternational President), Prof. Christopher, CILT President Finbarr Cleary, Keith Newton and Michéal Lynham (CILT Marketing Manager).


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