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Austria's logistics leaders pay a visit

January 27, 2016

On January 22, 2016, the WU Executive Academy hosted a high-level expert forum titled Meet Logistics Leaders.

At the invitation of Academic Director Prof. Sebastian Kummer, the crème de la crème of Austria's logistics industry and top managers from the industrial sector participated in the event: among others,

  • Christian Kern, CEO, ÖBB Holding AG,
  • Dr. Klaus Schierhackl, Board Member, ASFINAG,
  • Thomas Fahnemann, CEO, Semperit AG Holding,
  • Alexander Klacska, Managing Director, Paul Klacska Ges.m.b.H. and
  • Wolfram Senger-Weiss, MBA, Managing Director, Gebrüder-Weiss GmbH,

exchanged views and opinions on the current challenges facing the industry with the students of the Logistics & Supply Chain Management certificate program and analyzed with them the latest trends in the transportation, logistics and industrial sectors.

The Logistics & Supply Chain Management certificate program was launched in fall 2014. Now, the 22 participants, who will soon complete their training, were treated to a real highlight during the program's last course:

"The Meet Logistics Leaders event, which is an integral part of the curriculum, provided our students with a unique opportunity to have an in-depth discussion with managing directors and board members from the transportation, logistics and industrial sectors about industry challenges and, above all, about changes when it comes to managing businesses in these fields," says Prof. Sebastian Kummer, Academic Director of the program and Head of WU Vienna's Institute for Transport and Logistics Management. "The event was an undoubted highlight at the beginning of the new year, not only for our students but also for the speakers and for me personally."

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v.l.n.r.: Mag. Christian Kern, Prof. Barbara Stöttinger und Prof. Sebastian Kummer

Separating professionals from amateurs

Mag. Christian Kern, CEO of ÖBB Holding AG and a distinguished guest speaker at the event, highlighted the significance of specialized training in such a fast-moving and dynamic field: “Logistics is a decisive factor for the competitiveness of a region. Globalization and digitalization will substantially change value creation chains and processes. Highly qualified logistics experts will face a challenging environment in the future. Thanks to its strong practical focus, the certificate program Logistics & Supply Chain Management provides the tools and skills needed to meet this challenge.”

Dr. Klaus Schierhackl, Board Member of ASFINAG and another preeminent speaker during the expert forum, is of the same opinion: "The certificate program is cool, and I support it because logistics and supply chain management are vital to the smooth functioning of the economy. In both areas, comprehensive training is a sine qua non. Especially in a globalized economy characterized by the division of labor, the flow of goods will become more and more important, and changes in purchasing behaviors (e-commerce, etc.) will increasingly be separating professionals from amateurs."

Active Industry Support

The list of participants in the expert forum reads like a who's who of the Austrian transportation and logistics industry: Christian Kern, CEO, ÖBB Holding AG, Thomas Fahnemann, CEO, Semperit AG Holding, Dr. Klaus Schierhackl, Board Member, ASFINAG, Alexander Klacska, Managing Director, Paul Klacska Ges.m.b.H, Dr. Michael Baumgartner & Dr. Ludwig Österreicher, Managing Directors, CARGOMETER GmbH, Klemens Figlhuber, Managing Partner, Spring Procurement GmbH and Wolfram Senger-Weiss, MBA, Managing Director, Gebrüder-Weiss GmbH.

Prof. Barbara Stöttinger, Dean of the WU Executive Academy, offers the following explanation why so many of the industry's top players did not hesitate a second to participate in the event: "I am absolutely delighted with the outstanding commitment that the industry has made towards our program. Their support illustrates just how important high-quality training is, especially in this key sector of the economy."

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