The ‘best’ route to market, all the way

Tool for integrated supply chain design

Instead of trying to improve cost management within an individual department or phase in the supply chain, companies are more interested in managing the lowest cost-to-serve route all the way. Vlerick professors in supply chain management have developed a tool that provides the necessary insights.

We used the costing data in units of time spent on one resource, and combined that with the supply chain capacity planning,explains Robert Boute, Associate Professor in Technology and Operations Management. “This enabled us to develop a tool to optimise the supply chain as a whole.

Tested for retail

By way of a test, the tool was applied to a simplified, generic retail supply chain. Robert: “We presented the results and insights to a group of managers in retail companies and their suppliers. Their feedback has allowed us to validate the tool for further practical use.

This research project was conducted by Robert Boute, Werner Bruggeman and Ann Vereecke. One of the collaborating companies was software solution provider and corporate partner SAS, which gave access to its costing and analytical platform and contributed its expertise.


Based on paper: ‘Cost management in supply chain: an integrated approach’ by Robert Boute, Ann Vereecke and Werner Bruggeman.

Want to know more about managing the cost of your supply chain? Have a look at Supply Chain Finance and the Executive Master Class in Supply Chain Management

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