More and more university students today expect what they learn in the classroom to have a direct impact on what they will be doing in the "real-world."

For students who plan to enter into the supply chain or manufacturing fields having hands-on experience with tools and software used in top organizations is especially important. Recently, Kewill partnered with the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University (MSU) to provide supply chain students the opportunity to use the same Transportation Management Solutions (TMS) software that they may find when they enter the business world for the first time.

Undergraduates participating in the Supply Chain Management program at MSU have the opportunity to take a course that is focused on transportation and operational issues within the context of shipping and logistics. Throughout the course they rely on Kewill Transport part of the Kewill MOVE® on the Cloud for Shippers & Manufacturers platform, multimodal transportation management software for real-world software experience.

One section of the course is dedicated to the operational issues that shippers face and the crucial role that third party firms play. If not properly equipped, facing high-pressure situations with third party logistics managers when it matters can be daunting and stressful. In this section, Kewill’s TMS solution, Kewill Transport, is being used to stimulate real-life logistics management. The students uncover how this software is able to accelerate the speed, accuracy and transparency of global logistics and transportation processes for organizations of all sizes, helping students prepare for curveballs that may be thrown at them in the organizations they enter.

According to Hakan Yildez, assistant professor in supply chain management at Broad College, each year there are nearly 200 MSU students learning how and why shipments must be consolidated, how to change the order of stops, and the importance of gaining full supply chain visibility with the aid of Kewill’s technology. Perhaps even more important, using the professional-grade transportation management software brings classroom discussions to life and allows students to get excited for what they will be using once they leave the classroom.

Key skills the students are learning through Kewill Transport include the automation of shipping tenders, dock scheduling and shipment status updates to ensure that deliveries are on schedule and on budget. Also discussed are optimizing inbound freight processes through collaboration with suppliers and accelerating the invoice processing and approval process.

Gaining this hands-on experience early and before students hit the workforce also means that the supply chain industry will benefit from the next wave of logistics innovation. Undergraduates and those entering the workforce over the next few years will have a huge impact on the future of the supply chain industry. From Kewill’s perspective, it is inspiring to equip the next generation of supply chain and manufacturing professionals with the tools they need to be successful and have a positive impact on the direction of the industry.

About the Author
As the Vice President, Multimodal Transportation Solutions at Kewill, Walter Heil brings over 20 years of experience in supply chain and transportation management operations, sales and sales leadership. Prior to Kewill, Walter led the worldwide commercial efforts for the IBM Sterling TMS solution, providing strategy and executive leadership for IBM’s global supply chain execution portfolio. IBM Sterling TMS was born from IBM’s acquisition of Sterling Commerce in 2006, which had previously acquired Nistevo Corporation in 2000. During his tenure in all three organizations, Walter managed several sales organizations and lead Sterling’s supply chain execution strategy for the North American manufacturing market. Walter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University and attended The Detroit College of Law.


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