Skip to 0 minutes and 10 secondsHello Learners. So welcome to week one round up. So I'm Zakiah, your mentor for this week. With me is Professor Janet Godsell, our lead educator. Hi, Jan. Hi, Zakiah. How are you? I'm doing good. So Jan, how do you feel about this week's discussion? So the MOOC has been over two and half years in preparation.

Skip to 0 minutes and 34 secondsAnd although we obviously have done our best to put together what we thought was a fantastic range of different materials, it was really reassuring and nice to see just how well the different Learners had engaged with materials, how much they seemed to enjoy the materials, and actually, where we've use more experimental materials-- like poems or the art work-- it was really, really good to get the feedback. So I have to say, it's been a really positive experience for me and it appears to have been for the Learners, which is great. Yeah. Great to hear that. So what struck you about the discussion of block two, defining the supply chain? Yeah.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsNow, block two is a really interesting one because of course, as you know, Zakiah, in our work as academics, we have this whole debate about struggling with, should we define it? How do we define it? And of course, one in five academics start their papers by defining it differently to everybody beforehand. And this whole question about, do we need a standard definition or not? I thought there were some real lovely insights that came up from the discussion. And it did seem to split into two camps. You had people that were saying, yes, it was quite important to have a more standardised definition. And I think they weren't consistent.

Skip to 1 minute and 49 secondsI think, as you know-- and I think you commented yourself-- some people said it was supply, some people preferred the word 'demand,' some people preferred the word 'chain,' others moved into 'network.' So it's really quite interesting to see even the people that thought a more standard definition was important couldn't necessarily agree. And then there was a camp that said it didn't matter. But then somewhere in the middle-- and I don't know whether these are the pragmatists-- they started to talk about a common vocabulary. So rather than having a single term, we'd have a common vocabulary that people could relate to.

Skip to 2 minutes and 24 secondsAnd I have to say, I've not really thought of it quite in those terms before, and I found that quite an interesting perspective. Yeah. And I found that some of the Learners did mention about a new term, which is 'ecosystem.' Yeah. Yeah. So quite interesting, though. Sorry, can I just comment on something to do with the ecosystem, Zakiah? Is that OK? Yeah, yeah. You go on. So I just wonder whether the ecosystem is another academic creation, though, a bit like how the word 'network' came in, and whether this is-- You know, sometimes people are trying to find a word that they think is the most accurate description of what happens in reality, i.e.

Skip to 3 minutes and 5 secondsan ecosystem, probably if you were to try to draw out what this looks like, it is more of a sort of set of interrelated networks. I mean, some people use the word 'web.' But interestingly, and if you go back to the piece by the practitioners, do we have to have a word that's such a literal representation? Or is it OK to keep using the words like 'chain' just because people know what it is, even though we know it's not a literal representation of what's out there in the real world? It will be interesting to see, over the coming years, whether the word 'ecosystem' gains more traction.

Skip to 3 minutes and 42 secondsSo in block three, we did discuss about the importance of the supply chain. So what do you think were the key issues raised? So this was quite an interesting block because we started to look at things through some slightly different lens. For me, given that we had made the investment in developing the LINK artwork, it was a much-- I think it made my day when I started to see some of the feedback about the artwork and actually how people have began to get it. I know some of the discussion was asking, how would you then actually use this as a practical supply chain tool? And I suppose that wasn't our original intention.

Skip to 4 minutes and 21 secondsThe original intention was just to get people thinking about supply chains differently, which I think it met that goal. But actually, I think we've got some further research to do coming out of people's comments, because I do think there's a way that maybe something like the artwork by Unfold, LINK could be used to actually start to address some of those more dynamic aspects of the supply chain and keep the visualisation going more in real time. Not quite sure how we do that, but certainly, some of the Learners have given us real food for thought. The other two things that struck me-- one was actually to do with the poem.

Skip to 4 minutes and 58 secondsSo I would say we took a slightly higher risk strategy in that the twitch poem was perhaps our most demanding poem, in terms of content. One, because mental health is a difficult subject, but also because a service supply chain is something that's slightly different to the supply chain of a product. And I think that whilst some Learners did find the medium of poem difficult, I was really, really encouraged and it really warmed me to see the real efforts that some Learners went to to re-watch the video and to really try to understand.

Skip to 5 minutes and 35 secondsAnd actually, through reading the discussion, I actually got insights from the poem that I hadn't necessarily seen before, such as the changing positioning of where Jess stood in relation to the counter. And for me, that was a real learning. So that shows the power of the course, in terms of real 2A learning. And last but not least, some of the discussions around both the tennis ball and the pants example really got me thinking, because I hadn't realised to what an extent that some of our supply chains had put together around a sort of manufacturing focus, as opposed to a logistics focus. And I wonder, as we do take more of a total landed cost perspective, how that will change?

Skip to 6 minutes and 17 secondsAll right. That's good. So in block four, we managed to explore the importance of-- sorry, to explore the role of supply chain in the society. So what were the main points from the discussion? Or maybe important points? So again, this was a week that had perhaps-- sorry, not a week, a block that had some different themes within it. It was quite interesting within the industrial strategy block to start to actually see that the challenges that you have there. Are we looking at this from a company perspective? And when we start looking at it from a country perspective, I think what really struck me that even within the same country you can have industrial divide between two geographic parts.

Skip to 7 minutes and 3 secondsAnd that by taking a country perspective, it forces you to think the role that your country plays as part of that global value network. So what should we do within our country for our country? What should we do within a country for the region? And what could we potentially specialise in for that country and provide that product or service to the globe? And this does get quite interesting because obviously different countries around the world are at different stages of industrial development. And different countries have a different approach to industrial strategy. So even just within Europe, Germany has had a far more advanced industrial strategy than perhaps the UK. And we're actually only beginning to go back to formally having one.

Skip to 7 minutes and 44 secondsSo I thought the discussion really began to raise some of those different issues really quite nicely.

Skip to 7 minutes and 52 secondsAnd leading on to the sort of legal aspect, which isn't my area of expertise-- it's obviously where we've used some of our partners through our Supply Chains in Practise forum-- again, it was quite interesting to begin to think about, if we want to redevelop supply chains, we actually have to think about the role of the legal system in a totally different way. And just as for many, many years we've argued about the early involvement of supply chain in product design, then perhaps now's the time when we actually have to start thinking about the legal implications, not just in terms of product design but in terms of supply chain design too.

Skip to 8 minutes and 25 secondsBut the highlight, for me, of this particular block was just seeing how well people warmed to our chief supply chain officer role profile of Nick Wilkins. It was really encouraging to see different people's career paths. But I think Nick's quite down to earth view perhaps gave an idea of the breadth of the role of the supply chain but also a potential career path through. And this block came to an end, really, with the discussion around a fair return for all.

Skip to 8 minutes and 59 secondsAnd it's been really quite fascinating to see that perhaps an issue such as milk, which we think is a localised issue to the UK, is actually an issue around the globe and that different countries have chosen to deal with this issue in different ways. I've also been quite interested to see the different perspectives of some of the Learners about the role that we as individuals play, in terms of the decisions that we make and that interplay between our own personal decisions and how that, I suppose, connects in with the more industrial nature of a supply chain. All right, Jan. Thank you for your time. OK. Zakiah, can I just raise one last little point? Is that OK? Yep. Sure.

Skip to 9 minutes and 43 secondsStarted to see some discussion, but of course it's right towards the end of week one and people might be beginning to get a little bit tired. One of the really great things about the MOOC is the level of discussion. And one of the things that we have set the Learners on this particular cohort of this course is the challenge. And the challenge is around trying to pictorially represent the supply chain for some identified products, end to end. Some people have already started to engage in that debate. Some people have identified, actually, they don't necessarily have access to Twitter. So they've actually posted something, actually, just on the discussion board.

Skip to 10 minutes and 26 secondsI would just encourage everybody to actually look at how they could participate and to use whatever medium that they need to to actually connect. And last but not least, I just really want to thank everyone for their participation in week one. It's really, I think, contributed to a very rich discussion, I think from which Learners will have benefited from far more than just the content that we provided. And I really look forward to welcoming them to week two.

Skip to 10 minutes and 58 secondsThanks, Zakiah. Thank you, Jan.

Week 1 summary

Please return here at the start of Week 2 for the round-up video for Week 1.

Week 1, focused on the topic of ‘Just the tip of the iceberg: What is the supply chain’. Before immersing yourself in the domain of planning, take some time to consolidate your learning from last week by watching the summary video.

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This video is from the free online course:

Supply Chains in Practice: How Things Get to You

The University of Warwick