Saturday 8 August, 2020

Mona School of Business launches business review media series

Dr David McBean, Executive Director, Mona School of Business and Management.

Dr David McBean, Executive Director, Mona School of Business and Management.

Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) has launched the MSBM Business Review Media Series of podcasts and webinars to discuss major trends and developments in business.

The first podcast in the series was launched on June 11 under the theme, “Getting Back to Business”.

This podcast focused on the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in a time of volatility and complexity for all areas of business and education.

It featured Dr David McBean, Executive Director, MSBM and James Moss-Solomon, Executive-in-Residence, MSBM, who explored challenges currently facing the education and business sectors.  

The first webinar in the series, Local and International Supply Chain & Logistics during COVID Times, was held on Thursday, June 18 and provided an understanding of the tools to build resilience and sustainability in supply chain logistics, as well as the critical success factors to optimise supply chain and logistics.

Guided by moderator Dr Lawrence Nicholson, Head of the Decision Sciences and Information Systems Unit, MSBM, the panellists included: Dianne Robinson, Chief Supply Chain Officer, GK Foods; Audley Deidrick, President and CEO, Airports Authority of Jamaica (AAJ) and NMIA Airports Limited (NMIAL) and Edmond Marsh, VP, Business Development, Port Authority of Jamaica.  They provided information on their respective industries and the strategies being used to mitigate the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robinson shared that GK Foods was able to minimise the negative effects of the disruption in the supply chain by, among other initiatives, moving quickly to secure alternative suppliers, at the expense of increased lead times – from six-12 weeks in some cases – with a reduced period in which to pay for the goods.

“In all of this, one must not lose sight of the fact that COVID-19 has become the ‘great accelerator’, forcing GraceKennedy and other companies to leverage the technology and put long-overdue systems in place,” she noted.

Diedrick emphasised the need to leverage existing technology. He said companies needed to focus on the possibilities rather than the problems and that amid the negative effects of COVID-19 on the aviation industry, “we must recognise the opportunities for the emergence of technology and increasing efficiency of operations.”

Marsh highlighted the importance of the activities at ports as, for many across the world, logistics has become synonymous with those activities as water transport is used to move the bulk of cargo globally.

He said that as with other industries, the port industry has been affected by the disruption in the supply chain and its fragility has been exposed.

In this regard, Marsh suggested that there might be the need to re-examine the elements of globalisation and their effect on countries such as Jamaica.

He pointed out that location is one of Jamaica’s advantages in the movement of cargo – the Port of Kingston is among the top 100 ports in the world, with the most recent upgrading placing it in the category of “Panama-ready”.

However, Marsh said there was an urgent need to put systems in place to maximise this advantage.

Since its inception, MSBM has not only been the leader in business education in the region but has also been a thought leader in developing and communicating insights to promote efficiency and innovation in both the private and public sectors.

The MSBM Business Review Media Series is another medium that supports the school’s advocacy role to facilitate meaningful discourse on topical issues while showcasing the scholarship of its faculty.

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