Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network

Why this Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network?

After the global recession that affected all industries, companies are looking for innovative strategies and new opportunities to ensure their long-term success. This is particularly the case for the healthcare and life sciences industries.

Healthcare plays an increasingly important role in society and represents nearly 10% of our GDP expenditure. Sector-specific conditions like patient safety, clinical quality and high-level security requirements drive the complexity of the sector. Moreover, the industry is facing a broad range of challenges such as changing legislation, changes in the competitive landscape, increased pressure on cost cutting, consolidation, and the need for continuous innovation.

To face these needs, the Vlerick Business School started up the Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network in March 2011.

Objectives of the Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network

The Vlerick Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network’s mission is to conduct first-class research to healthcare supply chain practices and to support the creation of real healthcare value chains. The research network seeks to conduct and disseminate research on healthcare supply chain management that will help all major players from the chain to increase their service and efficiency in order to improve patient outcomes and healthcare quality.

The vision of the Vlerick Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network is to become a centre for excellence in healthcare supply chain research and to create an influential network of major supply chain players to collaboratively build innovative solutions to improve the healthcare supply chain.

The goals of the Vlerick Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network are to:

  • Provide actors from the healthcare supply chain with recent research results and best practices and to support them improving the healthcare supply chain efficiency and healthcare quality
  • Build innovative solutions to improve the healthcare supply chain, which will lead to the creation of a real healthcare value chain
  • Offer a network platform for different players from the healthcare supply chain to exchange ideas and discuss healthcare topics
  • Collaborate with internationally reputed players in the research field of healthcare supply chain management

Expertise within the Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network

The Healthcare Supply Chain Research Network is determined to engage in research on the most relevant themes to improve the performance of the healthcare supply chain. Studied topics will be selected in collaboration with the Network Members, Prime Foundation Partners, International Partners and the Research Team.

During the first three workshops (year 2011 – 2012) the following topics were selected:

  • Total Supply Chain Cost reduction (Total cost of ownership and cost to serve)
  • Supply Chain Collaboration (Supply Chain Integration and Supply Chain consolidation) 
  • Innovation and new technologies (Supply Chain transparency using technologies and IT integration)

During the three workshops of the second year (year 2012 – 2013) the following topics will be discussed:

  • E-business
  • Mass customisation and Track and Trace
  • Performance measurement

Potential research and workshop topics for future research have already been suggested, such as Supply Chain design, Healthcare regulations, inventory management strategies, lean supply chains in healthcare, service management, risk management, innovation, outsourcing, sustainability, reverse logistics, …

The topics mentioned are not an exhaustive list. The research especially aims at working at research topics most relevant for the different actors involved.

Vlerick Business School has years of experience in both supply chain management and healthcare management. The team of researchers in these two field are the following: Ann Vereecke, Behzad Samii, Robert Boute, Paul Gemmel, Brecht Cardoen, Krist’l Krols, Kris Meyers, Rein Robberecht, Maud Van den Broeke, … and external academics and practitioners.

Partners & Members

Prime Foundation Partner


jansens Cilag Belgium 
MSH Logo
Nidus Logo Senior Living Group logo
Jessa ziekenhuis Logo
Hospital logistics


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