The North Texan Online UNT North Texan contents UNT North Texan feature stories UNT North Texan eagle tale UNT  North Texan alumni news UNT North Texan feedback
MoreUNT North Texan time tracksUNT newsUNT North Texan contact usUNT North Texan past issues


UNT's Texas Logistics Education Foundation Center for Logistics Education and Research

Voices From the Harbor
After Sept. 11
It's How You Play the Game

At Ryder’s transportation management center are, from left, Elizabeth Martin, Ron Hasty and Lee Ianiero, Ryder’s senior logistics manager. Ryder is one of the companies offering internships to logistics students.

FOR THOM FOX (’99), LOGISTICS IS like putting together a world-shaped jigsaw puzzle.

His company, Corning Cable Systems in Hickory, N.C., deals in products and services for all types of communication networks. Fox is in charge of Cable Assembly Solutions, the branch of Corning that puts together the fiber optic cable, connectors and housing that enable phones and computers to communicate over long distances.

The process of piecing together the labor, materials and means to produce the cable is complicated. Every day Fox must coordinate workers, materials and plants at locations in Europe, China and Brazil. Although Corning is an American company, its manufacturing is done worldwide.

“What I do is establish the ability to manufacture our products in lower-cost countries,” Fox says. “I help determine the most inexpensive, most efficient way and the best location to get the job done.”

As a logistician, Fox is literally coordinating a global manufacturing plant — obtaining materials from one country and arranging for labor from another, all in order to sell a product in yet another country. He believes companies save money by shopping around the world for resources they need.

“Every decision I make counts,” Fox says. “I know I make a difference for my company by cutting costs before the product is sold.”


Global connections

Logistics is one of the fastest-growing fields in 21st-century business. Ron Hasty, director of the Texas Logistics Education Foundation Center for Logistics Education and Research at UNT, says it is growing so quickly because of the trend toward globalization in world markets.

Technology such as the Internet and economies more dependent on each other have literally given companies a world of possibilities in producing and selling products of all sorts.

“An excellent example is a Metroplex company like Russell-Newman, which makes terrycloth robes and women’s lingerie,” Hasty says. “A decade ago they had sewing plants all over North Texas, but now they manufacture their products in countries like China, Pakistan and Brazil.”

Companies can shop for the cheapest labor or the best parts in the world, and their logisticians try to find the best and most cost-saving solutions.

Along with the huge range of potential manufacturers comes a new, wide range of customers. Today, companies like J.C. Penney are not just competing with Wal-Mart, but with superstores around the world.

“The reality in a global economy is that jobs, manufacturing and intellectual capital flow without restrictions,” Hasty says. “The growing demand for our graduates reflects the demand for people who understand strategy in global competition.”


Local demand

The Dallas-Fort Worth area has become a major logistics center because it is a transportation hub — railroads, international highways, airports and distribution centers all meet in the Metroplex. The advent of the North American Free Trade Agreement has increased the flow of international traffic. UNT logistics students have been recruited for jobs as far away as Israel, Japan and Europe, but many stay in the Metroplex because of the increasingly high demand for their expertise.

UNT’s logistics program requires every student to work in an internship, from which many obtain full-time positions. Some of the companies offering internships to students in the program include Lockheed Martin, Ryder, Nokia, Verizon, Office Depot and Lucent Technologies. The demand for interns is far greater than the supply, Hasty says.

And every job is different. Some logisticians coordinate the elements of production, from locating the right materials to finding the labor to put together each product. Others create software to perform these tasks. And some, like Elizabeth Martin (’00), recruit fellow logisticians.

“The demand for people in logistics is high because it’s an increasingly important part of every industry, from supermarkets to car companies like General Motors.

“Everybody needs someone to move their products,” says Martin.

As a UNT senior finishing her logistics internship, Martin had several job offers before taking one at the Lucas Group in Dallas as a recruiter. Two days after graduation she was working full time, luring senior vice presidents of logistics to work for her clients and representing other logisticians shopping around for high-paying positions.

Martin says she doesn’t think anyone grows up saying, “I want to be a logistician.”

In college she jumped from psychology to marketing, never landing on the “right” major until she took a logistics class and knew it was what she wanted to do.

“It’s a new field and there aren’t a lot of people who have the kind of expertise it takes to do it — I liked that a lot,” she says.


UNT home UNT calendarCampaign North TexasNorth Texas Exesathletics