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Supply Chain Management

Organisation profile

The Supply Chain Management group at Lancaster is one of the leading groups in Europe. We are also one of the largest research units in the UK in the area of operations and supply chain management, using a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches. 

Our research is impact-oriented and connects to national and international policy agendas. Group members engage with relevant stakeholders to conduct research that links operations and supply chain management to contemporary grand challenges such as sustainability and climate change, decent work, innovation, productivity and economic growth, and reduced inequalities. Specifically, we boast internationally-recognised research expertise in the following areas:

  • Environmental and social sustainability in global supply chains
  • Supply chain resilience, risk management and cybersecurity
  • Technology and innovation in operations and supply chains
  • Servitisation of manufacturing and service-based business models
  • Production planning and control 

The group maintains particularly strong links with colleagues specialising in Operational Research applications (e.g. transport planning and supply chain forecasting) and Information Systems aspects of supply chain management. We also work closely with colleagues across the School and in other Faculties and interdisciplinary Research Centres e.g. the Pentland Centre for Sustainability in Business. 

Current Research Activities

  • Sustainability in supply chains: Lancaster is internationally-leading in this area and hosted the 2016 EurOMA Sustainability Forum. Linda Hendry and Mark Stevenson have a particular interest in socially sustainable sourcing (e.g. to combat modern slavery). Linda is currently involved in a UKRI-funded project seeking ways to reduce plastic packaging in food supply chains. Quyhn Do is working on circular economy concepts and applications in food supply chains, and Lingxuan Liu studies climate change-linked supply chain disruptions and how to mitigate these.
  • Supply chain resilience and risk management: Mark Stevenson studies supply chain resilience in multiple settings (e.g. product counterfeiting). Anas Iftikhar is particularly interested in how supply chain complexity interacts with resilience, while Yiyi Fan focuses on how and when organisations can manage supply chain risks (e.g. cybersecurity risks) and build resilience into their supply chains. Nonhlanhla Dube and Kostas Selviaridis investigate how procurement and contracting practices can promote resilience in medicine supply chains, as part of their Norwegian Research Council-funded project on measures to improve availability of medicines and vaccines. Nonhlanhla is interested in resilience strategies more broadly, including in the context of humanitarian operations and logistics. Sunil Banga is, among other things, studies resilience in healthcare supply chains and has recently developed a research-led teaching case in this area.
  • Technology and innovation in operations and supply chains: Martin Spring is studying the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in professional service operations (e.g. law and accounting), with his work attracting ESRC funding and international interest. Steve Eldridge researches how technology and digitalisation help transform business operations within firms and along the supply chain. Kostas Selviaridis is interested in how novel products and services, including those developed by technology-intensive SMEs, can be effectively contracted for and integrated in supply chains, and the role of public policy in this respect.
  • Servitisation of manufacturing and service-based business models: Martin Spring and Kostas Selviaridis lead on this theme, which encompasses manufacturers’ ‘shift to service’ (servitisation) and its implications along the supply chain, service-based business models and performance-based contracting.
  • Production planning and control: The Lancaster group has for many years been central to the development of Workload Control, an approach to management and planning of make-to-order manufacturing companies which introduces efficiencies and improvements in business productivity. Linda Hendry and Mark Stevenson lead in this area, and their work has influenced many researchers in German, Dutch, Italian, Greek, North American and Portuguese universities and research institutes. Sebastian Schiffels is studying, among other things, sales and operations planning and inventory management decisions with a focus on behavioural aspects. 

If you have any queries you wish to discuss, please contact Dr Kostas Selviaridis.

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