Vlerick Expertise in Operations & Supply Chain Management

Our researchers in Operations & Supply Chain Management take pride in their years of experience with the various aspects of Operations & Supply Chain Management, such as process control and supply chain management. They then translate this knowledge into management programmes, books and publications.

Within the management domain of Operations & Supply Chain Management we specialise in operations management (including inventory management, planning and control systems, lean management), supply chain strategy, supply chain organisation, manufacturing strategy (including international plant networks), supply chain best practices (including supply chain risk management, supply chain collaboration), trends in supply chain management (sustainable logistics, emerging markets), decision modelling, capacity management and purchasing management. And this knowledge is shared on this page.

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  1. Collaborative shipping: cheaper and better for the environment

    ‘We can’t wait any longer’, says Professor Robert Boute. ‘Companies are under pressure to deliver our orders faster than ever before. It’s not hard to guess the consequences: trucks full of air rather than goods. Various studies have shown that one in four trucks are driving around empty, and those that are not empty are only filled by 57%. Things can and should be better. We have developed a tool that will help companies substantially raise the efficiency of their shipping operations.’

  2. Case study

    Physical asset management certification at Eandis

    This teaching case can be used in a course of operations management, technology management, or supply chain management. It illustrates the challenges in physical asset management certification of ISO 55000.

  3. The dos and don’ts of imitation

    There is no doubt that imitation is a typically human trait. From birth onwards, we learn by imitating. Imitation is also a key learning and decision-making mechanism in the world of business. There are a number of studies on imitation in business decisions with regard to investments, organisational structures or the location of branches, for example. However, the role of imitation in the choice of management control systems and supply chain partners has not yet been researched. Evelien Reusen’s PhD serves to remedy this.

  4. Standardisation is not always cheaper

    The competition is intense. Consumers are becoming more demanding and companies are looking to respond optimally to demand. The result: increasing product differentiation and a more complex, and therefore more expensive, logistics chain. Is a platform approach the solution? Together with professors Robert Boute and Behzad Samii, researcher Maud Van den Broeke has developed a model that companies can use to calculate how many and which different platforms they should preferably develop for which (end) products. The model is being validated in collaboration with Barco’s Healthcare division.

  5. The supply chain: the new engine for profitable growth

    “Supply chain management is about more than cost-cutting and efficiency improvement, it can also drive profitable growth,” says Ann Vereecke, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management. Together with Prime Foundation Partner PwC Belgium, Research Associate Tom Van Steendam and Doctoral Research Associate Maud Van den Broeke, she developed and validated a theoretical and practical framework describing the different drivers and supply chain practices to effectively stimulate sustainable growth.

  6. Successful inter-organisational relationships – how do they come about?

    While it is commonly accepted that buy-sell relationships develop and evolve over time, research so far has taken a rather static perspective. As a result, little is known about the dynamics of such relationships. How do they develop into committed relationships and what triggers their different stages?

  7. Should we be manufacturing close to home or far away? The answer is: both!

    “Where should we be manufacturing? Locally, or further afield, in low-wage countries? This is a question with which many companies struggle”, says Professor Robert Boute. The answer is dependent on a number of factors. Using a theoretical but realistic stock model, he has worked with Professor Jan Van Mieghem from the Kellogg School of Management to develop an elegant mathematical formula with which companies can calculate exactly how much they should manufacture locally, and how much they can manufacture offshore. The formula offers a clear insight into the impact of the various factors that play a role in the decision.

  8. When it makes sense to colour outside the lines

    Management and management disciplines usually focus on what can and should be improved. In his doctoral research, Willem Mertens did exactly the opposite. He went in search of exceptionally high achievements.

  9. Case study

    Integrated supply chain management (ISCM) at Eandis

    Eandis, the distributor of electricity in Belgium, is about to launch a multi-year multi-phase smart meter implementation project. This teaching case provides a detailed analysis of challenges faced by a (traditionally) asset-based organisation while being transformed to an info-based entity from the supply chain management perspective.

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