On January 25, 2018, MLB students participating in the Supply Chain Management and Logistics (SCM&L) elective course were invited to view the operations at Kühne + Nagel. As one of the largest logistic service providers in the world, the opportunity to visit their warehouse facility in Hamburg provided an excellent chance to supplement theoretical aspects with real-life practical experience.
Together with Prof. Dr. Wagner, the SCM&L class traveled to Kühne + Nagel's warehouse facility and met with Operations Manager Thomas Gerst. After having lunch at the warehouse's cafeteria, Mr. Gerst provided a short presentation about the purpose of contract logistic providers, the importance of KPIs and the operations behind the storage and distribution services Kühne + Nagel provides to a large Japanese company.
After the presentation, Mr. Gerst brought us to the mezzanine level of the warehouse where we could view the complex operation in action. The warehouse workers zipped by us in continuous action, moving packages from shelves to consolidation to eventual trucks for distribution to customers. Mr. Gerst explained the process and complexity of designing such a system and how each part is necessary to eliminate potential bottlenecks. He also highlighted the need to establish proper controls and performance levels to provide a continuous flow. We further discussed that even with advances in technology and high potential for automation, a skilled labor force is essential to perform and control logistical strategies and operations.
Mariia Busarieva and Jennifer Iannuzzi
MLB Class of 2018