$315,000 Grant Given to Start Supply Chain, Logistics Lab

$315,000 Grant Given to Start Supply Chain, Logistics Lab
Don Sachs and Kent R. Valley present a check to President Michael Ortiz and Vice President Scott Warrington.

The Industry Manufacturers Council of the City of Industry and Kent R. Valley of Majestic Realty have given $315,000 to the College of Business Administration, Technology and Operations Management department to spur research and study in the rapidly growing supply chain and logistics technology industry.

This seed money will provide an enhanced laboratory for hands-on teaching and applied research, and recruit and support faculty experts.

“Technology is changing the face of business,” says Hassan Halati, chair of the TOM department. “The modern business student needs to be more informed about this emerging field.”

Cal Poly Pomona is uniquely located at the heart of one of the busiest logistics hubs in the world. Outsourced production operations and manufacturing feed the flow of billions of dollars of raw material, components, parts and finished goods through the ports of Southern California and their distribution across the nation. Technological innovation, globalization and e-commerce impact the strategies, operations and complexity of today's businesses and the skill set needed to properly manage the business supply chain.  

Between 1990 and 2003, the transportation and logistics industry in Southern California gained nearly 73,000 new jobs, amounting to a 23 percent increase, according to the California Transportation and Logistics Institute. By 2030, 350,000 more jobs will be needed to maintain the flow of goods through the Southland.

“Many of these positions will be technical, well-paid programming jobs,” says Professor Lynn Turner. “We want our students prepared for these jobs, and we want our faculty conducting research that will influence the future of this industry.”

The Supply Chain & Logistics Technology Laboratory will increase students' exposure to cutting-edge and emerging developments in Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and related technologies.  

RFID, the Internet (EPCglobal Network), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), global positioning, and global data synchronization technologies haveintense impact on businesses. The lab will provide firsthand experience and demonstrate the inner workings of the EPCglobal Network and state-of-the art developments in supply chain management technology.  

Students will learn the strategic implications of RFID mandates in commercial and government sectors; acquire firsthand knowledge of RFID technology applications (tags, readers, antennas, protocols) and engage in the practical study of end-to-end RFID solutions implemented for real-world application.

The lab will be implemented in two phases. Phase 1, scheduled for this quarter, is the installation of core RFID/EPC technology components for classroom use. The lab will be located on an interim basis in Building 6.  

Phase 2, scheduled for the 2008 winter quarter, involves implementation of training, testing and evaluation services as part of a larger industry outreach effort. Services will target small- to medium-sized businesses (e.g., suppliers who are required by their larger customers to have RFID capability).