ICT & Provision of information

UT introduces MOOC in Supply Chain Innovation

On 11 January 2016 the University of Twente will launch the online course Supply Chain Innovation. As part of this free course, participants from all over the world will learn how they can improve the chain they are working in with relatively easy means, as well as make it more sustainable. Key themes of the course are today’s supply chain practice, the latest academic knowledge and relevant innovations from the field of ICT. The course is featuring the Dinalog programme. Innovating supply chains requires out-of-the-box thinking. The boundaries between disciplines, departments, companies and countries need to be overcome in order to improve the chain. The course therefore focuses on professionals and students who want to look beyond disciplines such as production, distribution, marketing and finance. Participants of the MOOC gain insight into the network of activities from production to customer. This supply chain perspective is where the most opportunities for innovation can be found.

Every product we use is the result of a supply chain, sometimes a very long one. In almost every supply chain the parties involved can increase value – in terms of people, planet and profit – by improving collaboration with the other players in the chain, for example by sharing relevant information. The rise of all kinds of easily accessible technology, such as cloud computing or inexpensive sensor technology, provides more and more companies the ability to gather, analyse and share the right information. The online course Supply Chain Innovation of the University of Twente ensures that course participants are entirely up to date and are able to implement the things they learned.


One of the most important things participants will learn during the course is gaining insight in the role that they or their company play in the entire chain. The days that supply chain innovation could solely be implemented by big players able to purchase expensive ICT systems are gone. Using relatively easily accessible technology, you can already make huge improvements and (partially) solve pressure points within the supply chain. This means that the UT’s online course is interesting for employees of both big and small companies. “For instance, Unilever has managed to decrease road transport by 200 million kilometres after cleverly re-organizing their transport system,” explains Prof. Jos van Hillegersberg, coordinating lecturer of the course. “While at the same time we see small and medium-sized companies can also hugely profit from ICT innovations. Consider the coordination of work of the many construction companies involved in the train station renovation in Utrecht’s city centre. By sharing information about the plans and the schedule of the construction project with each other, efficiency can be increased and mistakes avoided.” The course will discuss several examples such as these, from various industries.


The online course Supply Chain Innovation will start on January 11th, 2016, lasts six weeks and requires an investment of a few hours each week. The course also offers many opportunities for people who desire to delve deeper and learn more on specific subjects. Furthermore, the course platform encourages discussion among the global community of learners. What makes the University of Twente’s online course on supply chains unique is that it is very accessible, even though it discusses the latest academic insights and ICT innovations. In addition, the course strongly focuses on practice, which ensures that participants can immediately implement the things they learn. The course is designed by scientists from various disciplines at the University of Twente and experts from the corporate sector. Important contributors include supply chain professionals from Unilever, logistics service provider Kuehne + Nagel and GS1 (the international organization responsible for standards such as the bar code). The course also includes examples of supply chain innovations derived from the Dinalog programme.


You can register for the course at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/supply-chain-innovation

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