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25: Supply Chain Management in Volatile and Uncertain Environments

Track Description


Adequate information systems (IS) support is a prerequisite and an enabler for successful supply chain management, which plans and controls flows of material, information, people and finances to ensure that modern societies’ public and private sectors receive quick and reliable deliveries of commodities, operating supplies, retail products and services. The supply chains serving these needs have to be prepared to cope with the various risks they are facing globally, and more and more actors in procurement, production and distribution processes have to be considered for this. In the private sector, customers are becoming more and more demanding, with rising expectations regarding the timely delivery of specific products and services with high variability, which demands higher agility while retaining cost-efficiency, the adaption of traditional planning methods to incorporate real-time data, and improved coordination mechanisms in heterogeneous supply chain configurations. In the public sector, on the other hand, uncertainty and volatility occur especially during crisis situations, like the 2013 European floods, which may cause extreme demand spikes, the need to rapidly identify supply chain corridors into the affected areas with little or conflicting information, and effective last mile distribution. Ultimately, the challenges in the private and public sectors confront Supply Chain Management with unexpected dynamics, insecurity and the need to act beyond pre-defined rules and processes.

In the private sector, most information systems for supply chain management traditionally focus on maximizing supply chain performance under ideal circumstances, i.e. in static settings, by minimizing inventory and stock out situations while maximizing capacity utilization. Today this does not necessarily hold true anymore, as complex supply chain structures and a networked society require the inclusion of consumers into the complete product lifecycle and planning approaches that can incorporate the challenges imposed by uncertain environments. Current challenges in the private sector relate – but are not limited to – the real time sharing of information throughout the supply chain, the use of digital innovations for process monitoring, better management of diverse events e.g. supply disruptions and demand fluctuations as well as decentralized and autonomous decision making approaches. In the public sector, in contrast, previous work has mostly targeted professional responders to crisis situations, as in command and control rooms or headquarters as well as in field offices, where issues of connectivity, interoperability and usability have priority. Today, improving coordination and collaboration is a major effort, acknowledging, among others, the inclusion of citizens into response efforts. Additional challenges relate – but are not limited to – real-time assessment of capacities and resource capabilities, the use of adequate tracking and tracing technologies for last mile deliveries, and gaining actionable and relevant insights from social media monitoring and analysis. For both sectors, new approaches like the “Internet of things”, cyber-physical systems and big data open up further opportunities that have to be addressed in research.

Research regarding the design, evaluation and use of information systems for supply chain management has to include social, technical and practical aspects of all lifecycle phases of products and disasters. Consequently, a variety of users from the private and public sectors have to be considered, including companies from production and retail as well as logistics service providers, governmental agencies, national and international aid organizations, consumers and ordinary citizens. This requires interdisciplinary research involving various fields: logistics and supply chain management, business process management, operations research, computational intelligence, information management, human-computer interaction, disaster management and social media analysis, to name but a few. Pertinent communities include the Association for Information Systems (AIS), the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS), the Nordic Logistics Research Network (NOFOMA), the International Association for Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM), or the international graduate school on Networks, Information Technology & Innovation Management (NITIM).

Types of Contributions

This track invites original work from researchers in the area of information systems for supply chain management, crisis response and management that contributes to the growing body of exploratory, theoretical, experimental, and applied research, in order to inform design and deployment. We are looking for behavioural and design science papers that address individual, group, organizational, and social factors.

Suggested topics are:

  • Management of uncertainty and risk in information systems for Supply Chain Management
  • Principles and architectures for Supply Chain Event Management
  • Dynamic and robust supply chain planning and control
  • Influences of new technologies like "Internet of things", cyber-physical systems and big data
  • Integration of collaboration, social networking and mobile technologies within SCM systems
  • Real time data integration from heterogeneous sources
  • Disaster relief supply chain planning and decision support
  • Monitoring and tracking systems in crisis contexts
  • Managing disruptions of critical infrastructures and their cascading effects

Track Chairs

Bernd Hellingrath <primary contact>

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Bernd Hellingrath <primary contact>

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd Hellingrath studied computer science and mathematics at the Technical University of Dortmund (Germany). He led the main department “Business Modeling” and was the deputy leader for the area “Business Logistics” at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, Dortmund. Between 2005 and 2008 Prof. Hellingrath was professor for “Planning and Modelling Production and Logistics Networks” in the department for Information Systems at the University of Paderborn. Since 2008 he is a full professor for Information Systems and Supply Chain Management at the department for Information Systems at the University of Münster, and director of the European Research Center for Information Systems. From 2010 to 2011 Prof. Hellingrath headed the working groups on “Processes” and “Information and Technology” in BVL International’s Humanitarian Logistics Council, and led the Council from 2012 to 2013. Prof. Hellingrath chaired numerous tracks on different conferences. Related to the proposed topic he is co-chairing the tracks “Practitioner Cases and Practitioner-Centered Research” of the ISCRAM conference in 2014 and “Crisis Management – Information Systems, Humanitarian Logistics and IT-based Decision Support” of the “Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik” (MKWI) conference in 2014.

Bernhard R. Katzy

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Bernhard R. Katzy

Prof. Dr. Bernhard R. Katzy started his professional career with an apprenticeship as car mechanic and later studied and earned master degrees in electrical engineering and business management. He holds a PhD in industrial management from University of Technology (RWTH) Aachen in Germany and a second PhD (habilitation) in general management and technology management from University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. He currently is professor at Leiden University School of Management and at the University BW Munich and director of CeTIM Center for Technology and Innovation Management. His research interests focus on entrepreneurial management of fast growing high-tech firms, especially in the emerging industrial structures for the information age. Prof. Katzy has edited the report of the Dagstuhl Seminar 13041 on Civilian Crisis Response Models.

Bartel van de Walle

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Bartel van de Walle

Prof. Dr. Bartel Van de Walle's is a tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Information Management, Tilburg School of Economics and Management at Tilburg University (the Netherlands) and visiting professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (USA), Harbin Engineering University (China) and the Universita della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano. He is also a director on the board of the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium. He received his MSc and his PhD in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Ghent University (Belgium). Prof. van de Walle co-founded the international Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management (ISCRAM) community in 2004, and has since co-organized special sessions, tracks, international workshops, conferences and PhD Summer Schools in Europe, the USA and China. His research focuses on the role of information and communication technologies in (humanitarian) crisis management.

João Porto de Albuquerque

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João Porto de Albuquerque

Prof. Dr. João Porto de Albuquerque received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Institute of Computing at the State University of Campinas, Brazil, performing part of the research work in a two-year research stay at the Technical University of Dortmund. He is Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and spent a post-doctoral research stay at the Department of Informatics of the University of Hamburg (2006-2008). Since 2008 he is a tenured Professor of Information Systems at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. His research follows a sociotechnical approach and focuses on the areas of collaborative systems, geographic information systems, crisis mapping, business process management and ICT for development. Prof. Porto de Albuquerque is visiting professor at the GIScience department of Heidelberg University, and he is co-chairing the track on “End-User Information Systems, Innovation, and Organizational Change” of the AMCIS 2014 conference.

Associate Editors

  • Guilherme Barreto, Universidade Federal de Ceará
  • Fernando Buarque de Lima Neto, Universidade de Pernambuco
  • Tina Comes, University of Agder
  • Jarrod Goentzel (t.b.c.), MIT Humanitarian Response Lab
  • Mark Haselkorn, University of Washington
  • Stefan Klein, University of Münster
  • Stephan Meisel, University of Münster
  • Stefan Pickl, Universität der Bundeswehr München
  • Axel Winkelmann, University of Würzburg

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