Supply Chain Management

Field of Research: Supply Chain Management (Planning and Performance focus)

Lecturer: Mr Joubert van Eeden

Measurement data: During the previous 2 years on this project various data sources were consulted at cellars, freight forwarders, auditors, and industry bodies. Many of these data sources were found to be not accessible, not available, incomplete, or in some cases unreliable. Reliable, accurate and complete measurement data is the cornerstone of any benchmarking process.

Framework provided: This study provides a guideline for cellars to start this measurement process. The process includes steps such as: identify supply chain segments, prioritise supply chains, determine supply chain strategy, and measure current performance. This can be followed by improvement processes. The metrics for the frameworks were carefully considered and selected based on the relevance to a cellar’s supply chain decision-making and evaluation of the overall performance (in terms of supply chain management).

Support available: The project is funded by Winetech and Vinpro for the benefit of the total industry. Thus complete support in implementing the measurement framework cannot be provided. Some limited support can be made available to assist cellars with starting this process and understanding the measurement framework.

Field of Research: Financial and Supply Chain Management

Lecturer: Mr Konrad von Leipzig

Typical topics look at the impacts of gamification (serious gaming), Industry 4.0 & social media on SCM. We are actively involved in research on the impact of real time data (Internet of things, Industry 4.0, smart factories) on the supply chain and the requirements this poses on the internal processes and logistics of companies. Here we are busy negotiating further co-operation between ourselves, two leading Universities in Germany, and the motor industry to develop tools for use in the manufacturing of new models in SA planned to come on-line in 2018.

We are also looking at the impact social media has on production and service delivery (you might remember the discussions/arguments regarding the dress being blue and white or gold and white, and the increase in sales of 340% this had) and how to harness this in improving the bottom line.

A further research branch is the use of gamification (you might want to look under “serious gaming”) to not only improve the understanding of processes, but also looking at the use of games and game elements in the education and training of our workforce (and possibly higher education).

Lastly, we are looking at supply chain management in general, trying to use whatever tools are available to improve the efficiencies within the chain, but with a special focus on “the last mile of delivery”. This is especially important in Africa, where the deliveries to cities or huge malls are relatively easy, but demand in rural or sparsely populated areas is rather more difficult and expensive to satisfy. With more and more companies looking at expanding into countries to the north of us this becomes a critical aspect. This implies that one needs to understand the market (where no or little information regarding income levels, sales, and even customers is available) and also look at different delivery mechanisms, from an own fleet delivery over outsourcing to 3rd parties (3PL or even 4PL) or making use of a “bakkie brigate” to using country and area specific delivery mechanisms. In this regard, there is an existing co-operation agreement with a local consulting company where students get practical exposure to some of those countries and the difficulties they are facing.

As with most other things in life, companies (and individuals) are always looking at the impact any intervention has on the bottom line. So any topic looking at financial feasibility will always be considered.

Field of Research: Operations & Supply Chain Management

Lecturer: Dr Louis Louw

Operations & Supply Chain management focuses on process excellence from both intra-organizational and inter-organizational points of view. A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain management manages the flow of goods, and information and services, in order to deliver maximum value to the consumer, while minimizing the costs of the flow (inter-organizational). Operations management is responsible for supplying the product or service of the organization and managing the conversion or transformation process that converts inputs into outputs (intra-organizational).

The work life and the organisational world is changing very fast. Digitisation and the industrial revolution 4.0 is accelerating these changes. The impact on organisations and humans will be immense. Some new developments are organisations and their ecosystems, digital leadership, digital and agile organisational culture, new work places, robots in factories, big data and new business models, virtual/augmented reality, mobility all around, open innovation via the Internet.

A key research focus in both these fields will be on the digitalisation of operations, supply chains, and value chains in both the manufacturing, retail, and service environments (such as financial services). Digitization has touched all aspects of businesses, including supply chains and operating models. Today, new technologies have enabled organizations to transform their existing hybrid supply chain structures (combination of paper-based and IT-supported processes) into more flexible, open, agile and collaborative digital models. Digital supply chains enable business process automation, organizational flexibility and digital management of corporate assets.

As part of this research, the opportunity exist for selected students to participate in a double degree Masters programme with Reutlingen University in Germany. Students will spend 5 months in Germany participating in two modules on digitalisation, while continuing to work on their Masters thesis. Students who successfully complete the programme will receive a double Masters degree, both from Stellenbosch University as well as Reutlingen University (which will be internationally recognised).

Research Group Members

Louis Louw

Wessel Pienaar

Joubert van Eeden
Senior Lecturer

Konrad von Leipzig
Senior Lecturer, Director IBi

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