Collaboration Essential to Improve ebusiness Skills
As the ebusiness project draws to a close, the challenge begins on how to share the benefits across businesses in the supply chain. But first here’s a summary of outcomes to date.
In response to evidence that poor ebusiness skills were compromising business opportunities in the NSW nursery and garden industry, NGINA determined to take action. Securing a grant from the NSW DEC through the Skills Enhancement program, a 6 stage project was agreed with the DEC and commenced in April 2012. Industry research was commissioned to identify skill gaps in the supply chain with the results being mapped to units of competency, prior to running 4 pilot workshops. This was to allow the development of an ongoing program to be rolled out to industry. At the same time a costing workshop was piloted with successful delivery to industry.
Pilot workshops were critical
A cross-section of 11 ‘students’ attended the 4 workshops run by the Western Sydney Institute of Tafe. Each workshop ran for 6 hours and all students passed the following 3 units of competency:
- Apply knowledge of logistics ( TLIX402)
- Investigate and design ebusiness solutions (BSBEBU501)
- Migrate to new technology (ICAICT306)
Key benefits of the workshops
Interaction between trainers and students was constructive allowing frank discussion and analysis by the group across a wide range of ebusiness technologies and opportunities. Key benefits were:
- Awareness of a wide range of ebusiness solutions
- Confidence to start using ebusiness solutions
- Recognition of a range of benefits of using ebusiness solutions
- Understanding that ebusiness is not a solution in itself and success depends on sound processes
- Eyes were opened to ebusiness opportunities that can be implemented within the industry
- Industry collaboration on ebusiness
- Potential for ebusiness ‘Champions’ within NGINA
- Development of training materials tailored to the industry for re-use or future modification
- Recognition of benefits of adopting sound inventory practices and improving inventory accuracy
Decisions are yet to be made on the next steps but the options are:
- Full workshops with similar content to pilot workshops
- Short one day or half day courses focused on key learning topics
- Full TAFE qualifications in chosen area of study e.g. Logistics, I.T., Business Administration, etc. Enrolment positions can be reserved for NGINA members. Most teaching disciplines would run a class for a minimum of 10 students at normal TAFE prices. Key benefits would include a focus on industry discussions and learnings whilst achieving a nationally recognised qualification.
Ongoing industry learning opportunities
While ongoing learning can be based on ebusiness champions mentoring, sharing and leading collaboration on a range of activities, a discussion needs to take place on software development: should specific software continue to be developed for the industry, or should available software be configured for industry use? Other opportunities include:
- Researching, testing and using “Apps”
- Hardware / software researching, testing and using
- Combining purchasing power
- New training or learning activities for other NGINA members
It is now an industry priority to keep the momentum going and to collaborate on improving skills and performance in ebusiness.
The e-business Skills program is part of the project to “Up-skill E-business in the Nursery Industry Supply Chain”, funded by NSW DEC Skills Enhancement Program.