Detailed Programme

The Supply Chain Network programme features the following sessions in 2016 & 2017:

  • 16 June 2016, Brussels campus (7pm - 10.30pm) - About Offshoring, Reshoring and Being Foxconned. Prof Richard Pibernik (University of Würzburg).
  • 20 October 2016, Ghent campus (7pm - 10.30pm) - Platform Design in a Global Technology Company. Kristof Deneire (Barco), Prof Robert Boute & Maud Van den Broeke (Vlerick Business School).
  • 8 December 2016, Brussels campus (7pm - 10.30pm) - Supply Chain 4.0 and the Impact of Wearable Technology. Peter Verstraeten (Proceedix)
  • 16 February 2017, Brussels campus (7pm - 10.30pm) - We read for you Yossi Sheffi's book "The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected". Prof Behzad Samii (Vlerick Business School).


16 June 2016

About Offshoring, Reshoring and Being Foxconned
by Prof Richard Pibernik (University of Würzburg)

Offshoring and Outsourcing have been strong and ongoing drivers in supply chain management and global business during the last two decades. Many global players are relying heavily on their offshoring/outsourcing partners, e.g., Foxconn or Flextronics in the electronics industry, or Li & Fung in fashion. The underlying rationale is fairly easy: making use of low labor costs, low costs of infrastructure, economies of scale in purchasing, manufacturing and distribution, as well as scalability and efficiency. This has fundamentally changed a number of industries and swiped away numerous companies – especially SMEs. However, many companies – especially SMEs – have not pursued this strategy, but have been very successful in keeping their production at home. In Germany, for example, this is true for a very large number of SMEs and larger corporations in different industries. Are these companies still threatened to be “Foxconned”, i.e., can their products be bundled with those of competitors and other industries, offshored and produced at a much lower total landed cost? Recently, reshoring – i.e. bringing back production that was previously offshored/outsourced – has received quite some attention. Especially in the US, reshoring has gained quite some momentum and may emerge as a new trend. Is this just smart work of lobbyists or has the offshoring trend come to a turning point? The goal of this talk is to provide insights into and, more importantly, provoke a discussion concerning offshoring and reshoring strategies. Beyond the typical examples of global players, it will discuss cases of SMEs, for which both strategies could be viable.



20 October 2016

Platform Design in a Global Technology Company
by Kristof Deneire (Barco), Prof Robert Boute & Maud Van den Broeke (Vlerick Business School)

Under pressure of higher competition and more demanding customers, product diversity for almost all companies is increasing. Great news for consumers, a nightmare for supply chain managers. Higher product diversity leads to higher supply chain costs (such as those of R&D, inventory, and sourcing) and a longer time-to-market. Also Barco, a global technology company specialised in the production and development of screens for use in entertainment and healthcare, experiences the need to offer more products to the market. For them, mass customization, in the form of introducing product platforms, offers a solution. Product platforms, well-known from their application in the automotive industry, are increasingly implemented in different industries. An important question is how product platforms impact a company’s costs and how much standardisation is actually suitable. Vlerick Business School will present the research viewpoint, while Barco will present the practical implications and implementations.


8 December 2016

Supply Chain 4.0 and the Impact of Wearable Technology
by Peter Verstraeten (Proceedix)

This session starts with a short overview of a couple of interesting wearable technologies. We specifically take a closer look at the different types of smart glasses. Will these gadgets continue to be a hype mainly in the consumer market? Or can we speak of a reliable hardware that is ready for business use? In addition to this, we discuss the possibilities of this technology in the cyber-physical supply chain of the future and we reflect on whether or not the wearables will cause a disruption in the supply chain landscape as we know it. We end the session with a demo illustrating that the future of tomorrow has already begun today.


16 February 2017

We read for you Yossi Sheffi's book "The Power of Resilience: How the Best Companies Manage the Unexpected" Prof Behzad Samii (Vlerick Business School)

A catastrophic earthquake is followed by a tsunami that inundates the coastline, and around the globe manufacturing comes to a standstill. State-of-the-art passenger jets are grounded because of a malfunctioning part. A strike halts shipments through a major port. A new digital device decimates the sales of other brands and sends established firms to the brink of bankruptcy. The interconnectedness of the global economy today means that unexpected events in one corner of the globe can ripple through the world's supply chain and affect customers everywhere. In this book, Yossi Sheffi shows why modern vulnerabilities call for innovative processes and tools for creating and embedding corporate resilience and risk management. Sheffi offers fascinating case studies that illustrate how companies have prepared for, coped with, and come out stronger following disruption -- from the actions of Intel after the 2011 Japanese tsunami to the disruption in the "money supply chain" caused by the 2008 financial crisis.


Our approach

The 'Supply Chain Network', consists of multiple evening content events, followed by a networking cocktail. Participate in these evening sessions with emphasis on critical reflection and synthesis.

Receive inspiring insights from both academic and business experts. 

  • Participate in a stimulating interaction with professors, guest speakers and other participants. Ideal for soaking up new ideas and discovering opportunities in your own organisation. 
  • Expand your network and meet like-minded peers.

The Vlerick Difference

We have a unique approach to learning, which focuses on bringing theory to life, giving you the skills and insight you need to really make a difference. Spend time on our beautiful campuses, and you become part of one of the most active business communities in Europe, learning in a way that will help you to be a more effective and productive business leader throughout your career. Learning at Vlerick really is an experience far away from traditional classroom learning. You’ll work collaboratively with your faculty and fellow participants to bring your ideas to life in a robust and practical way.

Digital − the new normal in business − will also strengthen your learning process. Our online platform ‘Showpad’ and the use of a tablet grant you access to all of the learning materials anywhere, anytime, and enable you to go beyond note-taking: take pictures of the flipchart during a brainstorming exercise, record a video of a role play, participate in a quick poll, create a Wikipage together … and share them on the spot with your group.

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