Our firm, MYBE Tech Opy, attended the Supply Chain and Sustainability lecture by Joost Hintjens on Wednesday, March 29th. Joost Hintjens is a lecturer from Antwerpen, Belgium. In the beginning of his career he taught marketing but later on switched to logistics and is currently studying for his PhD. He lives and works in Flemish Dutch Delta, which has a 20% market share of all European ports and 25% of all containers pass through this area. Flemish Dutch Delta is in the middle of the Blue Banana, which is the economic backbone of Europe and it has 80% of Europe’s purchasing power.
Logistics has a bad reputation around the world because it is a partial cause for air and noise emissions, accidents as well as traffic jams. According to Joost Hintjens people aren’t interested in logistics because they don’t realize that it includes much more than just truck transportation. In reality, logistics is about the whole supply chain. Mr. Hintjens wanted to prove that logistics isn’t all bad and it can be used to make the world a better place.
The five most important points we learned from Mr. Hintjens:
- Not everything you don’t need is waste. It’s only waste when you have to pay to get rid of it. Everything else is raw material for the next link in the supply chain. Best ways to deal with waste: prevent, reuse, recycle, incinerate with energy, incinerate without energy, landfill. The last one should only be used if all other options are exhausted.
- The importance of reverse logistics. This means taking the finished product when it’sno longer needed and bringing it back to the beginning of the supply chain. It has actually been used for 20 years but not enough companies are taking part in it.
- Making logistics green. Companies should consider the environmental impact of mode selections, reducing packaging materials as well as air and noise emissions.
- Reverse and green logistics should be used together to get the maximum benefits. Recycling, remanufacturing and reusable packaging are ways to implement both simultaneously.
- Recycling and reusing are only less bad. Cradle 2 Cradle is 100% good. C2C is about all materials being in continuous cycles and only using renewable energy. All products should be designed and produced so they can be brought back to the technical cycle or biological cycle. Don’t use materials, borrow them!
All in all, it’s all about your individual choices. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem!
We interviewed Mr. Hintjens about higher education and business in Belgium.
1) Higher education in the field of business studies in your country.
Belgium is almost like two countries when it comes to education. Mr. Hintjens is under the Flemish education system. The application process is less strict than in Finland. There are no entrance exams except for medicine. Almost all students are accepted but in the end, it’s up to the student’s own motivation if they will graduate. Universities drop students after their second year, if they do not pass exams. There are also very high dropout rates.
2) Working life in your country for the newly graduates from the field of business. How to find a job after graduation, how does the future look like?
In the school that Mr. Hintjens teaches at you can choose from four different specializations: marketing, accounting, finance and logistics. Both accounting and logistics are called bottleneck professions: much more demand than supply. Usually students in these specializations will have a job before graduating. The area of Flanders has an unemployment rate below 5%. In the lecturer’s opinion students who specialize in marketing will find a job after graduating but it will most likely not be the one they want due to little options. In the future, he sees logistics growing faster than the economy. The field of basic accounting will most likely disappear but intellectual accounting will never be automatized.
3) Business relations between your country and Finland. Influential factors to consider when doing business with people of your country?
Belgium is culturally very close to Finland. Almost everyone there speaks English and it’s not a generation issue like in Finland. Belgians don’t like to say no, they beat around the bush with their answers to avoid saying it. Logistics is too difficult for small companies in Belgium and that’s why many of them can’t do business with Finnish companies for example.
From left to right: Riku Gröndahl, Veronika Halonen, Jasmiina Harjunpää, Mr. Joost Hintjens, Iida Eloranta, Alisa Hietikko, Veera Hautala, Joni Elomaa, Mari Heikkilä
Written by: MYBE Tech Opy