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Introduction

A portfolio is described as a determined assortment of student work that reflects his efforts, attainments, and progress in one or more areas. It is noteworthy that to stimulate reflection, self-reflection, and skill development, the usage of an ePortfolio might offer a valued contribution. The ePortfolio might help me in the holistic promotion of my development and advancement (Likhushina & Radchenko 2021). Being an electrical engineer, I am engaged in the design and execution of automation and control systems of the SC (supply chain) operations. There is no doubt that SCM (supply chain management) is utilized to remodel the whole area of electrical engineering (Wieland & Durach 2021). This paper aims to critically reflect on my learning process in the Principles of Logistics and Supply Chain module concerning my professional practice of electrical engineering. Furthermore, this ePortfolio lets me reflect on my learnings throughout weeks 2, 5, 8, and 12. I will also discuss my experience from participating in the forum activities; challenge activities; webinar activities; and engaging with my peers during the module. In this reflective ePortfolio, I will examine the profound influence of constant reflection and learning on the journey of self-discovery and constant improvement. Moreover, by delving into the depths of my experiences and opinions, I have come to appreciate the extensive value of introspection and the constructive changes it can bring.

Entry 1 (Weeks 1-2)

During the first week, I gained knowledge about the definitions of supply chain (SC), supply chain management (SCM), supply chain strategy, and logistics. With my learning, I understood that SCM is considered a real-world integration of demand and supply across businesses to fulfill the desires and needs of clients (Selvaprabhu, 2023). I also acquired knowledge about the concept of logistics after participating in the forum activity of week 1 and I perceived that logistics entails planning and implementing the storage and movement of products between diverse points in the SC (Winkelhaus & Grosse, 2020). Engineering sectors need a smooth movement flow to certify timely production and delivery (Patrucco et al., 2020). Being an electrical engineer, I do not have much experience with the routine running of logistics however, I do understand that management in my organization depends on logistics to preserve efficiency, lessen costs, and direct intricate functions to certify clients' needs are fulfilled. With my participation in the weekly reflection activity, I learned the changing scenario of supply chain management and logistics. I understood that companies are shifting to adopting modern technologies to integrate resilient SCM regardless of the scope and nature of the company. I believe that my industry is deemed the most advanced one whose performance and efficiency levels are stimulated by technical adaptability to a greater degree. It is said that to certify competency, cost-efficiency, and proficiency in the SC and logistics functions, my engineering industry is investing in technical innovations for smooth functions (Kanyoma et al., 2021). In my profession, I can use modern robotics technology in areas of control systems, power systems, sensors & actuators, and communication & networking. During the week 1 webinar activity, I came across the concept of sustainability in SCM as the challenge for the global SCs. I learned that supply chain sustainability procedures can assist in refining the efficiency of SC corporate functions more effectively (Tseng et al., 2022). I, being an engineer, should nurture sustainability to reach various barriers associated with vendor practices, native laws, costs, and stakeholder buy-ins. Moreover, I will apply such a piece of knowledge and learning at my workplace by not just embracing supply chain sustainability as a value but also selling interior stakeholders on the notion, endorsing it in their decisions, and advocating for suppliers in their sustainability practices. During week 2, I learned about the concept of performance engineering which is an all-inclusive strategy for the scheduling, designing, and construction of buildings to attain higher performance norms around all areas of their functionality. It enables engineers to test software to refine the authenticity of application programs and electric equipment in the construction sector. Moreover, my learning of this concept will help me in my profession in terms of reducing the chances of technical mistakes; enabling the offering of excellent services; endorsing technical innovations; and offering a standard to measure software stability (Szalavetz, 2019), Also, this week, I learned about the impact of national culture on outsourcing. It was learned that culture might create momentous variances in the outsourcing of the electrical equipment which are required of electrical construction engineers. It is said that a cooperative culture that entails trust and honesty between outsourcing parties is vital for outsourcing success (Könning et al., 2021).

Entry 2 (Weeks 3-5)

During week 2, I learned about transportation and warehousing after going through readings provided in guided practice. I learned that transportation systems are required to deliver products and services to clients, vendors, and partners in diverse sectors and marketplaces. In my professional practice as an engineer, I can be able to design and optimize logistics and transportation systems to refine the performance, excellence, authenticity, sustainability, and client satisfaction in my industry. I can apply my learning and knowledge so far in this area by helping my company provide a higher level of services at competitive prices (Mollah et al., 2020). However, I need to possess certain skills to assist in numerous areas which influence the efficacy of the transportation system. The skill areas might include work measurement and methods analysis; facility design and location; system design; equipment; facility layout; asset utilization & control; and measurement systems. Moreover, by engaging in the forum activity of week 4, I acquired knowledge of how a training program for new staff to work in the client service call center can be started. It is learned that staff members should concentrate on demonstrating their product know-how and expertise and assist clients in navigating through the product choices to explore the ideal fit for their desires. Also, active listening is a major area that can be focused on while dealing with customers. I can apply this knowledge in my engineering profession by focusing on active listening skills. In my profession of electrical engineering, I might be required to understand the desires, expectations, and feedback of customers at the time of designing, installing, testing, and preserving electrical systems. Active listening skills will help me in clarifying and confirming the requirements, objectives, and specifications of the project which can further lessen mistakes and misunderstandings. At the time of interacting with customers, this skill is useful for me to customize the solutions to fulfill definite desires, and improve project success (Itani et al., 2019). By participating in the challenge activity of week 4, I have observed that performance measures that were used by Zara for its success in supply chain management entail flexibility, quality, and speed. This proactive strategy of Zara has enabled it to strongly satisfy the client's needs. It is noteworthy that with the enhanced flexibility levels businesses might be capable of developing supplementary collaborative relationships with customers and vendors grounded on keen comprehension of demands which makes the business’s supply chain respond more promptly and efficiently to varying client and vendor needs. This learning of mine will help me improve organizational flexibility by making procedures that can adjust to varying marketplace situations (Fatima et al., 2021). Throughout week 5, I considered the forum activity as an interesting one for my learning since it includes real-life instances. It made me competent in knowing the cases of supply chain disruption. I analyzed from the forum activity responses of my peers that the SC disruption was major during the pandemic Covid-19 which caused a shortage of raw resources required to develop electrical equipment goods. It implies that the construction engineers were not able to fulfill the demands of a market that is promptly returning to a more normal speed (Moosavi et al., 2022). Moreover, it further caused postponement of shipments, enhanced costs, and lost revenue. Concerning my profession as an electrical construction engineer, I understand now that labor shortages; increasing construction costs; and more were mainly due to the supply chain disruptions during the pandemic times. This situation pressured my organization to increase the SC data and resilience competencies (Raj et al., 2022). Also, I learned that I could use advanced technologies to recognize prospective supply chain risks. Also, social media could have been utilized to foresee impending shortages and disruptions (Sheng et al., 2021). I learned further about the recent supply or service breakdowns from the operations through the week 5 webinar. With this learning, I understand that outdated components can sometimes pose challenges for electrical engineers in terms of the repair and maintenance of the equipment. I acquired knowledge of how I can take proactive actions to address this issue by developing a rebuilding kit to replace some elements. It will certify that the equipment will be supported for a minimum of 15 years and offer an authentic and sustainable solution for its constant function and maintenance.

Entry 3 (Weeks 6-8)

During week 6, I understood the procurement strategies employed by businesses. I learned about the digital-enabled procurement strategy which is found as helpful in streamlining the procurement processes. In the area of my construction engineering profession, digital procurement channels are considered groundbreakers that can enable digitalized procedures through the lifecycle, from vendor selection and bid management to buying order creation and inventory management. While using such techniques, I will be able to improve the cost-efficiency of all engineering projects in my organization. Besides, it will facilitate real-time monitoring, automatic inventory management, improving security, and refining procurement choices (Roy et al., 2023). Also, the week 6 challenge activity made me aware of various terms such as e-procurement, ABC analysis, SLA (service level agreement), and more. E-procurement indicates a procedure via which companies procure products and services electronically. The use of the e-procurement technique will assist me in minimizing bulky paperwork engaged in the tendering procedure, poor procedure review, postponement in the tendering procedure, higher processing costs, and eliminating corruption (Cherian et al., 2020). Knowledge of SLA (Service Level Agreement) will enable me to set out the expectations of a provided service. It also helps me in clearly defining the scope of work to be performed and exactly what the contractor will offer to the client. It also helps in avoiding misunderstandings and unmet assumptions (Piparo 2020). With my learning of ABC analysis, I understood that this concept will assist me and my construction organisation in maintaining an adequate stock of resources to run the project (TAYE, 2022).

In the course of procurement during week 7, I have acquired valuable insights into numerous areas of the procurement procedure. More specifically, I have emphasized specifications, negotiation competencies, and portfolio assessment. Throughout my studies and practice activities, I have come to appreciate the relevance of such areas in attaining effective procurement outcomes. It is said that specification plays a vital role in the procurement procedure as it sets the basis for recognizing the right goods or services to fulfill corporate needs (Elgeti et al., 2020). Furthermore, I understand the importance of the negotiation concept by studying Alan McCarthy’s principles of negotiation. As per the principles, it can be said that one should listen more and talk less to negotiate successfully in the workplace. I acquired insights from this principle that will allow me to identify the needs of contractors in my profession; devise a strategy; reflect that I value their perspectives; and develop trust and rapport (Cornel, 2021). With the challenge activity of week 7, I learned numerous skills by working with my peer members. There was a case of a PTC Fictional Rail Network wherein I initially conducted an internal audit and an all-inclusive SWOT assessment around numerous departments. I, along with my peers, undertook this analysis with which I gained a profound understanding of the intrinsic strengths and weaknesses within every department and consequently gained opinions on their respective procurement procedures. In my profession of electrical engineering, I can use my acquired knowledge from the case study to develop a centralized procurement strategy; leverage technology; standardize procurement; and more. 

During the week 8 forum activity, I attained know-how of the concept of risk and revenue sharing partnership which is a vital building block of the contemporary supply network in which companies function better with partners instead of going all out in a win-loss negotiation. In my profession, I will utilize this concept by signing revenue-sharing contracts that equitably distribute functional income brought by equipment exchange so the proprietors can readily increase the rewards as per the system optimum (Wang-Mlynek & Foerstl 2020). Also, I learned about the concept of supplier relationship management which individual engineers with the suppliers must form. There are numerous benefits of such relationship management practices in price reductions; cost information exchange; technology exchange; refined service levels; and more (Dubey et al., 2019).

Entry 4 (Weeks 10-12)

During week 10, I enhanced my knowledge in the area of the importance of engineers in the supply chain. More specifically, I learned about engineers’ role in strategic sourcing in the SCM. I observed that the the key responsibilities of engineers in this area entail attaining an all-inclusive view of markets to certify ideal norms and practices for procurement; developing a mutual strategic direction to deal with vital vendors and stakeholders; improving and standardizing procurement prospects; and so on. With this learning from the module, I can play such a role in my organization (Yildiz Çankaya, 2020). Besides, I have now developed a skill in terms of analyzing industrial trends and emerging technologies to actively recognize supply base problems to reduce risks, secure the continuity of supply, and use evolving prospects. Another major concept that I grasped was supply chain sustainability and the role of engineers. It is noteworthy that sustainable SCM is an intricate outline that looks at SCM via a trifold lens of ecological accountability, social equity, and economic stability. It can be said that it is vitally a profit, planet, and people-oriented SCM approach that incorporates tactical, social, ecological, and economic objectives via process coordination (Tseng et al., 2021). My learning in this area increased to a great extent that I am now able to deploy IoT (Internet of Things) networks, certifying the connectivity and interoperability of different devices. Moreover, I developed the capability to transform conventional buildings into smart, energy-effective structures by incorporating techniques such as HVAC systems, smart lights, and more (Lee, 2019). During the week 11 reflection activity, I understood the concept of Porter’s Value Chain. I learned that a value chain indicates a range of actions that a company conducts to create value for its customers. More interestingly, I grasped the techniques that can be utilized to perform value chain analysis such as process mapping (Eisenreich et al., 2022). Notably, process mapping indicates a method employed to visually map out workflows and procedures. This technique will assist me in communicating how a process functions briefly and simply. Moreover, this knowledge of mine will assist me in driving higher productivity from the existing workforce (Antonacci et al., 2021). During week 12, I understood certain supply chain trends that I can apply as an electrical construction engineer. It is said that the advantages of cloud computing in logistics entail providing a comprehensive view of the SC through detailed information and analytics. Being an engineer, cloud computing technology can facilitate me to buy IT assets as services dictated by the definite requirement at that specific time on a construction project. With this technology, electrical engineers can access the server from outside and deal with the issue (Temjanovski et al., 2021). I gained an understanding of the use of IoT as a supply chain trend. The use of this technology in SCM is in areas of inventory management, warehouse management, logistics and transportation, supply chain visibility and traceability, and so on. In my profession of electrical engineering, this technology helps me integrate devices, equipment, sensors, and other electrical apparatus with the Internet (Rejeb et al., 2020).

Module Critical Reflection

As far as my learnings from the module are concerned, I must say that all entire learning and knowledge gained helped me in interpreting my own experiences being an electrical engineer in the executive-level graduate courses. Further, it can be said that my learning during weeks 1-2 has been significant in the areas of concepts such as SCM, logistics, SC strategy, SC network, performance engineering, and capacity planning. However, I need to increase my knowledge more significantly in the areas of the impacts of the national culture of outsourcing. To increase my knowledge in this area, I would want to prefer the method of peer learning. I will participate in the forum discussions, group assignments, and more to enhance and grasp the concepts. Using such a method will allow me to cooperate and engage with others to think out of the box for learning the concept. Concerning my learning in weeks 3-5, I realized my strengths in the areas of industrial engineering applications in transportation. Furthermore, the challenging activities throughout the weeks allowed me to enhance my team-building skills; communication skills; time management skills; creativity skills; imagination skills; critical thinking abilities; and collaboration skills to a great extent. Nevertheless, I found myself incompetent in relating the concept of supply chain disruptions with my professional practices. To improve in this area, I must have to adopt real-time practices by focusing on the impact of disruption on my engineering activities. The consequences could be in the form of enhanced costs, lessened client gratification, postponed project timelines, and more. As per my knowledge gained through weeks 6-8, I clearly understand the concept of procurement practices. I understood clearly that international markets and client patterns are continuously varying, therefore capitalizing in manners to solicit such kind of information is deemed a vital input to opportunity identification. However, I have to build my skills in respect of technical negotiation being an electrical engineer. To develop such skills in myself, I will take action to use persuasion techniques and manage my emotions.

References

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