A supply chain implies coordination and creation of mutual profit for the whole group of stakeholders. All organizations work to complete their mission and attain futuristic vision, by using resources to add value through a process creating a final end quality product and also getting supply chain surplus. The supply chain of a university is also required to be understood by professionals to foster better performance and understanding of the value creating process.

Product

The product of a university could be its students who pass through various courses and the artisans (teachers) work upon their personality, knowledge, thinking skills, problem solving and manners. The four year program requires careful coordination between the specialist teachers as each student passes from one internal customer to the other. Only through teamwork and coordination in the university department can a high quality student be produced.

Students are beneficial for the parent, industry, nation and society at large. The raw input of intermediate colleges has to be converted into professional ones. Again the quality of students in university also depends upon the quality input from colleges which in turn depends upon schools. A defective raw material will result in less than optimum final product.

Customer

It is the parents who spend a large amount of capital and invest in their children for their better future. In most cases parents have to sacrifice in monetary and social terms to enable their children to attend university. Lifelong planning is done to make their children to attend university. In majority of the cases the parents are unaware of the subjects, the process and the artisan’s expertise at a university. It is an ethical duty of universities to provide the education which parents expect or should be provided to their children. As a customer is the one who provides the financing to any organization, the satisfaction and peace of mind of parents is of fundamental importance. It is also important to communicate, collaborate and work in cohesion with parents.

Another point of view is based on the internal customer aspect where the industrial units, other higher education universities, business sectors could be the customers. Again the quality and standard of the students created at the university has a final impact.

Stakeholders

It is of utmost importance that the education providing staff at universities understand and analyze all the stakeholders involved in the process. These stakeholders are students, parents, industry, teachers, management, intermediate colleges, schools, society, regulatory bodies, government, etc. Again to create a quality end product the collaboration and the commitment should be there between the interconnecting organizations. Just as a single teaching artisan cannot create a huge difference a single organizational entity will have a limited impact.

Process

It is important to have an advanced, modern approach towards the teaching methodology. The limitations of our system has to be understood. In actual scenario the laxities of stakeholders results in problem and complexities at some point of the supply chain. The standards of our universities have to be raised for us to compete at the international level. The quality of the product is not gauged by its label in other words degree but rather its functional and performance abilities. When demand is greater than the supply the product will be required and consumed, however, this is a short term scenario and the low quality factories will soon be out of business.

Infrastructure

Basic good quality education is difficult to achieve by the common man. The quality, standard pulls down the student during the first ten years of study. These are the most learning and formative years for a young mind. Rote learning, poor curriculum, less educated teachers, poor environment results in poor standards. The young minds are not to be blamed, it is the setting of the boundaries by elders and norms established which limit their growth. Rural areas are especially suffering, with non-availability of professionals and less regulation due to poor communication and regulation of government departments.

Prospects

With a population of 120 million youngsters, the education and training can provide the whole world with a source of manpower. Pakistanis are intelligent, committed, warm and hardworking. These strengths can propel the nation towards success only through quality education and professional training. The upside is that the awareness in the masses to get good quality education is gaining strength day by day. Despite financial constraints, families are sacrificing for the welfare of their children's future. A large number of professionals are returning after pursuing higher education from abroad. They need to be encouraged and accommodated. The formation of a national curriculum will also foster high performance. The greater the efforts to have a streamlined, cohesive and visible educational supply chain, the better will be the end product.

Nothing is impossible and Pakistan has the potential, intelligence and the will to establish such a supply chain, pipelining individuals into society who are unique, creative and professional.