Kuehne Logistics University

Master of Science in Global Logistics | Part 3


Sören · 2014 - 2016

Published: 2 March 2015 | by Sören

Hi Folks,

In this post, I’d like to share some details about my second semester (MScin Global Logistics) at the Kuehne Logistics University.

The first days of the new semester were really nice. Seeing each other after the winter break and the relaxing Christmas holidays was great! On the first day back at KLU, we met our fellow second-year students and the new exchange students for the first time. That is a big thing each semester.

Some of you are interested in the details on the courses I am attending. We have courses that either start at the beginning of the semester or in the middle of the semester. However, the students recently voted to have either a constant schedule or a schedule that separates the semester into two parts – which seems to be the more popular alternative among the students.

This semester, I have the following courses:

  • Complexity and Risk Management
  • Humanitarian Logistics
  • Logistics Systems
  • Pricing Strategy and Revenue Management
  • Distribution Systems
  • Information Systems & Decision Science

Complexity and Risk Management

In this course, we started with risk management and learned how risk is defined. We became familiar with a range of tools companies can apply to identify and quantify risks. We also learned that some risks (e.g. public image) are not always measureable in currency.

After learning how to apply a set of methods, we were split into groups to work on a case study about a company that was suffering a risk. Our job was to identify the root of the problems the company was facing and from a risk management perspective, judge how the company should have reacted to prevent the crisis. One key finding was that many companies facing a crisis delay their public response. If the media get involved, things can quickly get out of hand.

We completed the section on risk and are continuing with complexity management. In this section,we are studying stem dynamics using simulation software. This method requires some logical approaches, which of course require some math. Understanding the math is one thing, but fortunately, the software also does the math for us.

Speaking of complexity: as you can imagine, we do not use just one or two variables in our system calculations. We actually use up to 20-30 variables with different behaviors. I would like to mention that the logic is really more important than doing the math yourself.

For the complexity section, we have a semester project in which we will model a complex system ourselves – this is due in about 2 weeks – plus two little 20-min. quizzes.

Humanitarian Logistics

This is the subject that made me want to get an MSc inGlobal Logistics at KLU. In my bachelor’s program, I studied business administration with a major in production logistics and logistics management. This gave me good first insights into supply chain management. There, I discovered that the logistics needed during a natural disaster is one of the most challenging aspects of logistics. I wanted to learn more about it!

At the beginning of the course, we learned what natural disasters are, which organizations participate in disaster relief actions, and how their basic supply chain is designed and functions. I can say that in theory, it sounds pretty easy. A crisis occurs, someone needs to observe somethings and then someone else needs to send something… But what do you do if you have no functioning railways, the airport is out of commission and there is no port close by? Who will take the lead if something happens? If there are 40 different NGOs active right after the crisis, how do they organize themselvesto avoid redundancy? How does all this happen within 72 hours of the crisis?

The course answers these kinds of questions. We also have three guest lectures from the following organizations: Riders for Health, WFP and United Nations Disaster Response System, which in my opinion might be the most interesting one. This organization plans and executes all the cargo transport for disaster relief. They make sure that the right planes and ships are available with the correct specifications in order to serve the beneficiaries. I’m looking forward to the lecture on March 1.

Justlike in Complexity and Risk Management, we have a semester project due at the end of the course plus two little 20-min. quizzes.

Logistics Systems

This is what a supply chain manager really needs to know: this course is about forecasting! We willnot only find out what the different forecasting methods are, but will also apply them in MANY in-class exercises. The formulas become pretty simple when you actually start to understand what you are doing.

What I really like about this course is that we do not just learn how to forecast demand, but instead we find out how to measure whether or not the forecast method and calculation we did in the past were good.
This semester, we will have two assignments and a final exam. All in all I expect to learn a lot in this course and maybe even find a master thesis topic in the area of (strategic) warehousing!

Pricing and Revenue Management

How much would you sell a house for? This was the first question our professor asked the class.

Everybody knew that it really depends on a variety of factors:the location, the materials, the style, etc. This course follows exactly this approach. First, it is essential to understand some basic pricing theory. But then you have to apply the theory. To do this, each student should have a version of Microsoft Excel that includes the solver function. A Linux pre-installed Excel version also works and is free.

The course stated a bit later and only takes place bi-weekly, so I can’t say much about it yet, except that this is mainly a quantitativecourse, NOT a qualitative one. This does not mean that you do not need any math in the other courses at KLU – here it is just more complex. I am not a super brain when it comes to math... but today’s business life takes place in numbers. This is why you really should consider taking at least a few quantitative subjects during your studies to sharpen your understanding of them – it will definitely help you later on in business life. To pass this course, we have to do two case studies and write one final exam.

Summary

I noticed that I am studying at a real logistics university! The subjects deal with current business problems and the professors take the time to discuss questions in class and with you privately. Some of them have very good connections to big companiesor NGOs –which might be helpful for getting an internship in a company. I’ll be doing myinternship next semester.

So, let’s see how the semester continues! Two other classes are about to startand in about two weeks, I’ll be getting the information from our International Office about which partner university I will be spending my exchange semester with.

If you have any questions about my blog or want me to write about other topics, please let me know!

Best regards,
Sören

MSc in Global Logistics
Kuehne Logistics University

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