Vlerick Expertise in Operations & Supply Chain Management


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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. When ‘smart’ becomes ‘intelligent’

    The recent publication of a research paper entitled “The Impact of Supply Chain Resilience on the Business Case for Smart Meter Installation” was a new milestone in the Chair Partnership with Flemish gas and power distributor Eandis. What started off as a proof of concept among 4,000 households having a smart meter installed has grown into a challenging big data venture with information no-one has ever had before.

  8. Doctors handshake

    Collaboration in the healthcare industry

    The healthcare industry is evolving. The increasing professionalisation of hospitals generates pressure throughout the entire supply chain. Producers, distributors and logistics service providers (LSPs) reconsider their position and processes in order to cope with the new market situation.

  9. Healthcare

    Cost management in the Healthcare Supply Chain

    The pressure on costs is increasing steadily, not only in the care centres, but also at the supplier side. In order to successfully launch effective cost-reducing initiatives in the healthcare sector, a profound knowledge of these cost factors and an in-depth overview of the cost structure are of paramount importance.

  10. Case study

    Sustainable supply chain: Case (A) Alpro – sustainable soybean supply chain and (B) C & A – sustainable cotton supply chain

    These two cases are part of a case series: C&A and Alpro. They provide insights into the challenges companies face in integrating sustainability in their global supply chain. The cases portray two very different companies but with many commonalties among which a global supply chain and active in the agricultural commodity supply chain (C&A in cotton, and Alpro in soybeans).

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