Supply Chain Studies

Logistics is the science of efficient material flow within and between companies. Largely, it is about getting goods delivered on time, to the right location, at the right price. The flow of material moves through chains of buying and supplying companies (supply chains). These can be suppliers of raw material, manufacturers, trading companies, and transport companies which together form a supply chain to an end customer. Logistics research focuses on how companies in supply chains can make their logistics more efficient through better collaboration.

Our research

Performance management in supply chains
Efficient logistics requires that we are able to measure the performance in a supply chain. This means measuring times, costs, inventory levels, and environmental impact. By doing this we learn how efficient the supply chain really is and we ensure that the stakeholders agree in detail on what should be done. This also allows for us to establish a common language. For instance, what do we mean when we say that a commodity is "on time"? Are we talking about minutes, hours, or days? It is important that all involved parties are in agreement on this, otherwise there is a risk that the supply chain might break. A good measuring system reduces misunderstanding and increases efficiency and, thus, the competitiveness.
Contact: Helena Forslund and Maria Persdotter Isaksson

Supplier development
It can, sometimes, be challenging for companies to find the required suppliers, for instance in connection to the development of a new product. One way of solving this problem is to develop existing suppliers so that they fit into the supply chain. This can mean providing them with training, equipment, or routines. This way, a tailored supplier that fits perfectly into the supply chain is created. Supplier development is common among many larger buyers, such as IKEA. The research uses as its starting point the perspective of the supplier and focuses on what it is like to be developed.
Contact: Veronica Ülgen

Logistics development in the forestry industry
In the forestry industry, logistics has long been a neglected area. Therefore, research is based on the major practical needs of the industry. Researchers work in close cooperation with the forestry industry and focus, using for instance training and workshops, on discussing the concept of logistics, creating habits, practices and, not least, a common language. The research has particular focus on the relationship between sawmills and their customers. For instance, it is about sorting out success strategies for sawmills, how to learn about the needs of the customers, and how the sawmill can deliver what they need in an efficient way.
Contact: Åsa Gustavsson

Inventory management
Inventories are often a large asset and at the same time a major cost for companies. In order to achieve cost-efficient stockkeeping several aspects need to be considered, for example: What goods should be in what inventory? How much of each commodity should be in stock now, and how much next week? Research in the field is about developing methods that facilitate this type of decision-making, both from a cost and service point of view. The methods are based on mathematical modelling and result in new rules regarding decisions for stockkeeping. These decision rules are evaluated using simulations based on actual company data.
Contact: Peter Berling and Roger Stokkedal