Central role in a major research project

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As you would expect, ELA takes a close interest in research in Europe, particularly that carried out under the auspices of the European Commission. While such research is important in helping policy makers it is only truly valuable if it is relevant to practical issues – there is not much value in studies of the abstract. ELA has a strong belief in ensuring that the needs of logistics and supply chain professionals are accurately represented in the research and development field and we maintain committees to this end. It is usually beyond our resources to play a full part in a research project for the EC – say, as a full member of a consortium. But occasionally, important opportunities for us to make a contribution arise. The Bestlog initiative, which has just got under way, is just such a chance for us to use our special strengths to good effect.

Bestlog is welcome recognition that there is a wealth of research into best practice in logistics in Europe which needs to be translated into best practice that can be adopted by logistics professionals to improve performance. The project, which started on February 1 and which will last for four years, seeks to draw together examples of best practice in logistics in Europe. Having established the ‘state of the art’, the project’s purpose is to establish a platform for the exchange and dissemination of best practice. It will be readily accessible, backed by funding arrangements to ensure that it is sustainable. Clearly, the value of such a platform to logistics professionals, policy makers and citizens alike will be substantial.

The project will be conducted by a consortium led by the Logistics Department of the Berlin University of Technology. It comprises: Templeton College Oxford in the UK, the Kuehne Institute for Logistics University of St Gallen in Switzerland, the Packaging Transport & Logistics Research Institute from Spain, Reliant in the Czech Republic, Mettle Group from France, the Warsaw School of Economics from Poland, Chalmers Technology Management and Economics from Sweden and the ELA. This consortium is well placed to bring together the information that is required. ELA has a special role in communicating the outcome of the work as it develops and in creating the platform. We have a unique network of contacts across Europe and intend to bring those to bear during the project.

It is early days yet but already things are on the move. I recommend that you take a look at the project’s website, www.bestlog.org, for more details and updated reports on progress.

In the meantime, we are approaching our many members and associates to ensure they are aware of the project and its intent. This is an exciting chance to make best practice more accessible to all.

Graham A Ewer CB CBE , President ELA

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