2015 Press Releases

UCC and IIPMM collaborate for Masters

6 Jul 2015
Pictured (l-r): Dr David McKevitt, UCC; Dr Joan Buckley, UCC; Seán O’Dwyer, President IIPMM; Des Crowther, CEO IIPMM; and Dr Seamus O’Reilly, UCC. Image: John Sheehan Photography.

UCC and Irish Institute of Purchasing and Materials Management (IIPMM) are collaborating on a Masters programme that has delivered €86m in savings to businesses over the last four years.

UCC and the IIPMM have announced a new collaboration between both institutions to work together in the area of Procurement and Supply Management.

Both Institutions have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that provides for a number of key areas of collaborations including a progression route from the IIPMM Honours Degree in Procurement programme to UCC’s Postgraduate Diploma/Masters in Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) and an annual research programme.

The success of UCC’s Supply Chain Management programmes in responding to business interest in Lean supply chain management is evident in the number and impact of Lean SCM projects carried out by students in employment taking part-time programmes in this area. 

In-company programmes provide an excellent opportunity for learning and deliver tangible savings and value-add to employers. For example, at postgraduate level, since 2009 participants have implemented 118 Lean SCM Black Belt Projects across 37 different companies.

These companies, both multinational and Irish-owned, represent key sectors in the Irish economy, including Food & Drink, Pharmaceutical, Medtech and IT and Software. An analysis of reported benefits from Black Belt projects over the last four years estimates a total euro benefit to participating companies of €87m.

Dr Seamus O’Reilly, Senior Lecturer and Academic Programme Director, emphasised the value of workplace learning that is embedded within up-to-date research led programmes. “This is the result of the programme design that blends academic and practical expertise, creating an interactive learning environment (including workplace and classroom learning) and enhancing individual and company capability.”

Such partnering with participating companies is greatly enhanced by this collaboration with IIPMM, as both organisations are committed to professional development. This initiative increases awareness of the benefits of this programme, furthermore the annual research programme, with a focus on Talent Management, will inform future programme design.

Seán O’Dwyer, President IIPMM, welcomed this initiative as the Institute finds a need for detailed research in this area particularly in respect of Talent Management. He looks forward to the “research output from the combined resources of UCC and IIPMM that will deliver research output that is badly needed by both educators and professionals alike”.

“This unique approach will benefit the Procurement and Supply Management Profession and the academic underpinning that is needed to ensure that Ireland can continue to compete at all levels of business both at home and abroad,” he continued.

Indeed initial interactions between UCC and IIPMM have highlighted the need for programmes that support functional managers’ transition to business leaders. The Postgraduate Diploma / Masters in Supply Chain Management (Lean SCM Black Belt) is ideally suited to do just that. 

Dr O’Reilly explained: These programmes adopt a lean approach and are practitioner-oriented.  As such they are designed to support functional managers as they move into a leadership role focused in value creation and process improvement.  Thus, these programmes seek to improve procurement and supply practice capability through both personal and organisational transformation”.

“This programme has delivered significant real savings to graduates companies. The project-based approach is a fundamental aspect of the programme that knits academic learning and professional practice, an ethos shared with the IIPMM Honours Degree programme”.

University College Cork

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