Operations Planning And Control (OPAC) - Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Main research interest (DSC/e related)

The Internet of Things and low-energy sensors enable full transparency of supply chains: we know of each item its location and condition real-time, resulting in an immense amount of real-time data. Ever-increasing computing power enables us to exploit this data to improve responsiveness, efficiency and sustainability of future supply chains. New encryption technologies and anonymous hosting ensure data privacy. This opens possibilities for unprecedented close collaboration between companies in B2B supply chains and between companies and consumers in B2C supply chains.  

Optimization of supply chains starts with detailed knowledge of market characteristics and demand signals. Efficient and effective response to demand signals requires transparency of product availability over time. Based on this transparency supply chain management can be linked to both the customer journey (all events / touchpoints related to a customer order) and the product/service journey (all events narrowing down the decision space available to match the supply chain content with future sales). Given the events constituting the customer and product journeys, the supply chain and its markets are permanently in a transient state. This requires fundamentally new methods for determining optimal decisions. Data-driven methods are the foundation for optimization.

Success stories

Between 2000 and 2010 research on SCM has generated close to 1 billion € additional profit to companies involved in research projects. This number is based on publications in journals and newspapers.

Big Data "avant-la-lettre" has been the basis of these projects. Collaboration with industry has continued and expanded.

Examples of SCM projects are:

  • Support in the design and implementation of master planning at ASML.
  • Design and implementation of collaborative planning in the semiconductor industry. 
  • Application of system dynamics to predict cyclical sales patterns in process industry demand.

Project examples

  • Complexity in High-Tech Supply Chains NWO, with ASML, Philips, Hilti, VDL, Océ Decentralized control of high-tech supply chains. 
  • European Supply Chain Forum with 25 multinational companies, e.g. Nike, DHL, Heineken, Bayer, Shell. Platform for knowledge exchange on supply chain management and supply chain innovation.