PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS AT ANNUAL DINNER 2014
Distinguished Guests, Past Presidents, Fellows, Members, Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen. I would like to welcome you to an evening of enjoyment and celebration. I am going to keep my introduction short. I wish to say a few words about the important role of our Institute. The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport is the International Professional body for the Supply Chain, Logistics and Transport industry, which in reality covers everything that moves, both goods and people.
We are very much focused on promoting professionalism, integrity and personal development in our sector. Because Ireland is a small open Island economy on the periphery of Europe and very much dependent upon exports, we need to be first class at supply chain management if we are to be competitive.
Supply Chain Management is an essential cog in our economic turnaround, which we are all glad to see, is gathering pace. Being effective, efficient, safe and professional is an essential requirement if we are to retain and secure foreign direct investment and if indigenous companies are to thrive in overseas markets. It is essential that all of this has to be achieved in a sustainable manner.
There are two main areas in achieving this objective:
• Hardware in the widest sense, such as communications and infrastructure. Much of the latter is in the Government remit and as I have stated on previous occasions, there has been a shortfall in investment in recent years due to the economic crisis and we haven’t been spending enough even to maintain existing infrastructure and assets.
• This now needs to be reversed, otherwise we will go backwards.
• We also need to pay attention to the soft side, the area of skills and abilities of people in the industry. This is the area where the Institute can particularly add value by strengthening the knowledge, skill and professionalism of its members in the industry.
The Institute undertakes a number of key roles in meeting the above needs both for its members and the community as a whole. CILT Ireland has set itself goals of continuous improvement.
In Education and Training, we have a number of well-established programmes and we are working to expand further our mainstream courses, develop specialist and e- learning courses and further support continuous professional development for our members. We are also supporting CILT International in the provision of international courses throughout the world.
I want to thank all those involved in this area and in particular Jim Kearney, our Education and Training Manager for his expertise and contribution over many years.
Under the Policy heading we continue to make well – argued and researched submissions to Government and public bodies on matters of interest to the sector and to develop new policies for the Institute. Events are an important part of our membership offering.
CILT Ireland was honoured last September as the location for the global launch of the new CILT corporate identity and over the two days we ran a range of focused seminars. Given their success our International President, Dr. Dorothy Chan from Hong Kong, will return again in November and we plan to arrange some interesting events during her stay.
Already this year we have a far greater number of events in place, and more are being planned, be they visits, presentations, technical papers, round table discussions, seminars or conferences.
European Supply Chain Day, for example, is on the 10th April. You will see from our website the series of events we are running and I hope you will join us on at least one of them as they provide a great opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and networking.
As a professional body maintaining and strengthening standards is a central objective. We are very pleased to work in conjunction with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Health and Safety Authority and to be the examining body for their exams. I wish to acknowledge the very good work they undertake.
I congratulate Moyagh Murdock on her recent appointment as CEO of the Road Safety Authority, a body that we have a high regard for. I wish her well in her new position.
I believe I have set out above some of the advantages and benefits of being a member of the Institute, not only as part of a global professional body , which is in 32 countries worldwide , but also as a significant contributor and influencer on behalf of the industry here in Ireland.
We very much welcome new members, so please come and chat with us afterwards at our stand in the foyer where a Council member or a member of staff would be pleased to brief you.
CILT in Ireland is in the process of establishing two groups, part of an international initiative within CILT worldwide, which should be of interest to many of you in the room.
The first is Women in Logistics and Transport or better known as WILAT in recognition of the increasing number of women within our industry. The second is Young Professionals Group otherwise known as YPG.
Both these groups are essential to the growth of our industry. The Institute’s initiative is intended to assist members of these groups in a number of key areas in their career development.
There are briefing leaflets on membership, on WILAT and YPG on your seats and at our desk in the foyer.
Elsie Morgan and James Ryan look forward to welcoming new members to both groups and working with them. I want to thank our Council and our many members who on a voluntary basis contribute to the Institute.
To our staff my thanks for all your hard work and commitment. Both are essential to the on – going success of the Institute. I would like to particularly congratulate Dr. Edward Sweeney on being awarded Member of the Year for 2014 and may I wish him well in his new position as Professor of Logistics & Head of Engineering Systems & Management Group at Aston University in England.
To all those involved in the organisation of the event and to our sponsors my appreciation. To all those who have been shortlisted for an award my best wishes.
I wish to say a thank you to all our judges for their work on selecting the winners tonight. I know from them that the standard this year has been higher than ever and that they had a difficult task in shortlisting and choosing the winners.
My congratulations in advance to all the entrants on your efforts over the past year and special congratulations to the winners on your great achievement, keep up the excellent work.
I have no doubt that you will all get into the full swing of things and enjoy the night.
After our meal, we will have the keynote address by an eminent person in our industry. I have no doubt that the address will leave us with some interesting thoughts to consider.