The BVL Chapters are “up close” with the day-to-day working routines of members and provide a platform for the exchange of ideas between experts as well as partnership-driven help and support. The honorary Chapter Chairs do an excellent job and also maintain regular contact with each other.
The central meeting of Chapter Chairs was held in Wuppertal in the early summer of 2018. Working in groups, the Chapter Chairs, Student Chapter Chairs and members of the Young Professionals network discussed strategic topics relating to the future of the association – such as digital products and services for members, the further development of the work of the Chapters, the requirements for students and young professionals, and the future direction of the network. Other occasions on which the honorary officials come together include the regional conferences as well as Captains’ Day and Junior Captains’ Day, where the newly elected Chairs pay a visit to head office in Bremen and receive valuable input for their work.
Three Chapter Chairs were honoured with the badge of honour of BVL in 2018 – Norbert Schillo (Saar/Rhineland-Palatinate), Patrick Mense (Rhine/Neckar) and Hans-Jürgen Kaftan (Saxony-Anhalt). And there was also a premiere: Prof. Dianjun Fang, Shanghai Chapter Chair since its founding in 2008, was the first international Chapter Chair to receive the badge of honour for his outstanding work during the last ten years.
A total of 262 Chapter events were staged in Germany and a further 59 by the international Chapters in the year under review. These hands-on events were attended by around 8,600 participants in all. Below are just some examples of the widely varying activities and the partners with whom the BVL Chapters cooperate.
In cooperation with the North Rhine-Westphalia Association for Freight Forwarding and Logistics, the BVL Ruhr Chapter staged the 11th Load Securement Day on the grounds of the Load Securement Research and Technology Centre in Selm at the end of June. The event was entitled “Load Securement: Quo Vadis?” and topics included the response to the new DIN EN 12642:2017-03 standard on load securement for road vehicles. Carl Franz, an independent expert for load securement, explained the new requirements compared to the old version of the standard, while Chief Inspector Daniel Heyer outlined the standpoint of the police authorities. In addition to enjoying the presentations by the speakers as well as hands-on road demonstrations and a parallel exhibition, attendees also had the opportunity to talk to the specialist exhibitors, colleagues and representatives of the authorities.
At the beginning of July, around 80 members of the Baden-Württemberg, Rhine/Neckar and South Baden/Upper Rhine Chapters staged this year’s “Logistik-Manufaktur Baden-Württemberg” together with the Intralogistics Network in Baden-Württemberg association and the VDMA Baden-Württemberg. The list of past hosts – Bosch, Festo and Audi – was joined this year by Pepperl + Fuchs GmbH in Mannheim. Attendees listened to presentations on the theme sessions “Innovation – What Will the World Look Like Tomorrow?”, “Infrastructure and Technology – What Do We Need/What Will We Get?” and “People and Companies”, and also gained insights into the company itself and the research it conducts. The programme was rounded off by a tour of the plant.
The US Southeast Chapter was particularly active during the course of the year, and the Chapter Chairs organised four events. The highlight was the involvement in the Georgia Logistics Summit during the Modex fair, which took place in mid-April in Atlanta and welcomed almost 31,000 attendees and 925 exhibitors. BVL joined forces with other organisations like APICS, CSCMP, the Atlanta Manufacturing Alliance or ISM at the “Joint Industry Associations Initiative” stand. Combining the trade fair presence with a Chapter event proved to be a good idea, as it gave new members a chance to become involved in the BVL community right from the start. Attendees were fascinated by the venue, the Porsche Experience Center at Atlanta Airport.
The third Korean-German Logistics Conference took place on June 18. The venue was the Coex Center in Seoul, and the event organised jointly by the BVL Chapter Korea-Seoul and the Korea Maritime Institute attracted 100 participants. The theme of the conference was “The Way to Innovations for Future Logistics” and attendees listened to presentations by, among others, BVL Advisory Board member Prof. Frank Straube and the President of Kühne Logistics University, Prof. Thomas Strothotte.
The ninth Central German Student Conference took place in mid-May. The venue was Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, who generously supported the Saxony-Anhalt Student Chapter in the organisation of this year’s conference. Around 80 students listened to exciting presentations and had ample opportunity to interact and build new contacts. They also experienced some hands-on logistics during tours of the Edeka logistics centre, the Infraleun GmbH company, MTH Retail Group and MKL – Mitteldeutsche Kunststofflogistik GmbH & Co. KG.
One extremely “illustrative” event was staged at the beginning of November by the Rhine and Ruhr Student Chapters on the bullwhip effect. This effect is observed along the entire supply chain when there are fluctuations in demand – at least this is the theory. Attendees were able to experience this phenomenon in practice at Cologne Business School during an event called “The Ultimate Beer Game – May the Best Supply Chain Manager Win”. The students were split into four teams and took up their positions as brewery, regional warehouse, wholesaler and retailer. The objective was to predict demand and keep storage costs as low as possible.
The first BVL Young Professionals “Barcamp” was held at the end of June at the House of Logistics and Mobility (HOLM) in Frankfurt. The target group for the event were career starters in the age range up to 35. The programme focused on professional and personal interaction as well as further training. After the attendees had introduced themselves, they drew up topics for the three working groups at the barcamp – “disruptive technologies in the logistics field”, “big data in production” and “digital transformation and leadership of young professionals”. The participants then worked together to develop solution and application approaches in these areas.
“The way to the top in big companies and the role of logistics in shaping the future” was the theme of the fireside chat held by the Young Professionals in Munich in mid-July. The event was hosted by Steffen Overath, Team Leader at Jones Lang LaSalle SE. Also present was Robert Blackburn, BVL President. His first question was: “Do you all want to lead?”. He told the participants about his own experiences, and said that the key skills of a management executive are talent and a high level of intuition. He emphasised that you have to like people and be interested in them – and stressed the importance of being a good listener for successful managers. Blackburn’s advice to the Young Professionals: “Don’t work in jobs you don’t enjoy!”