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Posts Tagged ‘Supply Chain’

Reverse logistics tool reduces losses on retail returns.

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

The Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA) and The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) have just launched a Global Joint Venture called Chartered Global Management Accountants (CGMA), a new professional designation for Management Accountants. The CGMA is designed to elevate management accounting and further emphasise its importance for businesses worldwide.

The Management School’s Reverse Logistics Toolkit, developed in collaboration with Cranfield University, is one of only twelve toolkits selected to feature on the CGMA website.

As a significant percentage of products are returned by customers, reverse logistics has become an area that retailers and manufacturers cannot ignore. Reverse logistics is a broad area and the tool focuses on the management of retail returns. In particular the tool views the management of the reverse logistics process from a holistic supply chain approach rather than simply starting after the point of sale.

Despite the fact that managing returns incurs substantial costs through logistics, inventory and disposal, many companies have inadequate processes for dealing with them. The improved management of returns can have a significant impact on bottom line performance.

It can also have a significant impact on environmental concerns, since reverse logistics operations involve transportation and, therefore, CO2 emissions. The tool enables companies to audit their returns management activities and identify where opportunities exist to reduce costs and waste and improve customer service.

Chartered Global Management Accountants can play an important role in this area by using their analytical skills to highlight the financial benefits to be gained from making improvements to reverse logistics processes and by recognising the importance of supply chain accounting and inter-organisational accounting. Techniques such as quality costing and transparent performance measurement systems have a significant role to play. Many of the diagnostic and performance aspects of the tool are based on activities taking place across organisational boundaries with particular emphasis on relationships with suppliers and customers.

The tool covers cost and performance management, avoidance of product returns, process management, the physical network, inventory management, information and communication technology, material handling, containers, sustainable distribution and compliance with legislation.

For more information about the Management School’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management research, please see

For more information regarding the Reverse Logistics Tool, please contact Professor John Cullen at

£14.9m awarded for pioneering low carbon programme in Yorkshire and the Humber

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Disadvantaged communities across Yorkshire and the Humber are set to benefit from a ground-breaking new project, which, for the first time ever, will see low carbon measures installed throughout whole houses.

The Big Energy Upgrade will see the University of Sheffield work alongside partners to monitor the performance of the installed measures, look at behavioural issues linked with energy consumption, support the supply chain associated with the project and monitor energy consumption in selected households.

Officially called the Energy Innovation for Deprived Communities, the programme is being delivered by a partnership of organisations throughout Yorkshire and the Humber. A total fund of £14.9m has been made available, of which £7m is being part-financed through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe´s support for the region´s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.

Principle Investigator (PI) of The Big Energy Upgrade project, Professor Lenny Koh, Director of the Centre for Energy, Environment and Sustainability (CEES) and Associate Dean at the University of Sheffield´s Management School, said: “This project brings together the University´s cross cutting team from energy and environment, using a truly multi-disciplinary approach to tackle these important energy challenges in society. We look forward to working closely with the local authorities and other partners in pioneering this low carbon direction.”

The project will run until March 2014 and will act as a catalyst in attracting further funding towards energy efficiency projects, which in turn will create more demand for materials and skills in the area of retrofitting and micro generation. It will also help to prepare the region, in terms of knowledge and experience, for the delivery of a new area-based whole house approach to be delivered as part of the Government´s Green Deal post 2012.

To read read the full news release see:

Centre for Low Carbon Futures: Low carbon supply chain

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

The Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre is leading the Low Carbon Supply Chain Strand under the Centre of Low Carbon Futures funded by Yorkshire Forward. Professor Koh’s (the Principal Investigator) work is highly-regarded at an international level and has major impact from the perspectives of novelty and trans-disciplinary, assist businesses and job creation. Her work crosses supply chain, information systems, energy, engineering, social science and science disciplines in understanding todays and futures complex supply chain problems induced by climate change and uncertainty. She leads and manages several highly complex, trans-disciplinary and cross institutions major initiatives and projects on low carbon supply chains of the £50million Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF) and a White Rose Sustainability Science Network. She has led other highly complex and multi-disciplinary research projects involving multiple European and international partners. Her duties/work also contributes to regional development in upskilling managerial workforce and internationalising supply chains.

The UK aims to reduce Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20-24 billion tonnes by 2050. Governments, industries, knowledge providers, intermediaries, agencies have an active role to play in the process of achieving this goal. In our region, through CLCF, we act as a integrated platform to help accelerating the achievement of this goal with a £50million CLFC to pull together critical mass of research, knowledge and innovation on multidisciplinary areas from sustainable science, social science, supply chain, engineering, environment, economies, energy, technology and policy work.

Urgent action needs to be undertaken in order to address the climate change issues. With unsustainable supply of energy and the need to reduce carbon footprint, a new approach is required for developing what we term a balanced green supply chain system (BGSCS). Balancing is required from the context of economic, social and environment needs, which must also consider internal and external push and pull of stakeholders throughout the supply chains. Coupled with increased complexity, uncertainty and dynamics in a global supply chain, these two imperatives multiply the challenges to greening a global supply chain. For example, best-in-class companies have managed to reduce transportation and logistics costs by 2%, energy costs by 6%, operation and facilities costs by 2% and supply costs by 2%. However, many practitioners leap into the green agenda without a clear understanding of the impact of the green initiatives from a full supply chain perspective. Supply chains compete, not companies, hence it is important to understand how low carbon practices, technologies, management, legislations and so on impact on the supply chain.

The gaps in current knowledge lead to the following strategic key questions:

  1. Why is a full supply chain analysis of energy efficiency and conservation fundamental to the understanding of the real impact of green initiatives?
  2. How may a sub-optimal approach to greening a supply chain detrimentally affect the potential for CO2 emissions reductions?
  3. How does a balanced approach work in greening a global supply chain under a conflicting multiple objectives scenario?
  4. What are the key decision variables and the trade-offs in the balanced approach?
  5. What are the roles of stakeholders and policy makers in greening a global supply chain?

In the Low Carbon Supply Chain Strand within the Centre for Low Carbon Futures (CLCF), a balanced approach will consider a number of critical themes in developing a Balanced Green Supply Chain System. This system will include but not limited to clean technology management, waste minimisation, eco-accounting and investment models and standards. Supply uncertainty, technology uncertainty, demand uncertainty, and risk propensity of industrialists and policy makers towards these uncertainties will be mapped out in order to balance the green supply chain system. The level of energy efficiency and conservation and CO2 emissions will be assessed and the supply chain will be modelled.  The performance output of this system will lead to the consolidation of a set of green measures to assess readiness, resilience and adaptation to climate change throughout the supply chain. These measures could also be used to set up the criteria for establishing the Responsible Investor Standard (RIS) and Green Impact Assessment Matrix (GIAM). Evaluating the potential business feasibility and sustainability of biorenewables generated supply and energy conversion technology is also important to enable full and holistic technology foresighting and options assessments and understanding of important decision variables for clean technology investment.

The proposed work will firstly be carried out in a 2-year pilot project entitled Balanced Green Supply Chain System, addressing the ever changing business landscape and eco-innovations developed over time. The pilot project is a scaled down version of the above, which will not only include the breath of the above issues but also the depth of those issues in selected sectors in the Yorkshire region. For the pilot project, 4 Post Doctoral Research Associates (PDRAs) will be appointed to undertake the research in the following themes:

  • Low carbon supply chain modelling
  • Clean technology evaluation on supply chain
  • Low carbon supply chain intervention design
  • Sustainable supply chain on biorenewable

The pilot project links very closely with the White Rose Sustainability Science network entitled Adaptation of Supply Chains to Climate Change and a Resource Poor Future.
The four pilot projects at CLCF funded by Yorkshire Forward are:

  • Towards a low carbon climate change resilient economy
  • Balanced green supply chain system
  • Developing biorenewabe and biorefining capacity
  • Optimisation of oxygen linked with exhaust gas recirculation

Professor Lenny Koh said: “Both climate change and resource depletion will impact directly on human well-being, quality of life and the whole supply chain. Research on low carbon supply chain is the key fulcrum point interconnecting the supply and demand side in the value chain. Such view is not only applicable in product/service/manufacturing supply chain, but energy, knowledge and technology-enabled supply chain. Industry is constantly managing the trade-off between cost saving and investment on low carbon initiatives. With our research, we could demonstrate value adding in this process and provide efficiency gain throughout the value chain economically, socially and environmentally. The target to meet the 80% CO2 reduction is not impossible. The role played by Kyoto, United Nation Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in Dec 2009 and the leaderships of World Leaders are very important driving forces to collaboratively address the climate change challenge. We must also ensure addressing this challenge and its agreement will make good sense to government, industry, university and the larger society.”
Low carbon is the direction to address the global climate change and energy challenges. Led by the Former Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon John Prescott MP (also the Official Rapporteur for Kyoto 2, Council for Europe), a Coal Conference took place at The University of Sheffield on 28 Oct 2009. In John Prescott’s keynote address, he highlighted the pressing energy supply and demand issues along with the need for advanced CCS technology, clean coal, nuclear and renewable investment. The social, economical and regeneration impact from coal has also been debated in the Conference, marking the non-separation of these consideration in the energy mix package. With China taking part in this debate with the UK in this Conference, it further strengthens the link between UK and China, and more specifically between the Yorkshire and Chongqing. With the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP addressed the Conference too in his speech, emphasising the urgent need to address the climate change and energy issues. This is very critical for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) low carbon strategy which then led to the announcement made by Ed Miliband for the 10 nuclear sites in the UK. This marks an important step at a national level to support the nuclear supply chain development and leadership.

More information about Professor Koh can be found at

For more information about the project, please contact the Principal Investigator Professor Lenny Koh at the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Centre.

The Emergence of Green Supply Chains: A Balancing Act Keynote address by Prof. SC Lenny Koh

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

Professor SC Lenny Koh recently delivered a keynote address at the International Conference on Digital Factory (ICDF2008) Coimbatore, India.  The speech entitled “The Emergence of Green Supply Chains: A Balancing Act” emphasising the significant impact of climate change, and how businesses and supply chains reflect on this pressing issue. Action could be undertaken and improvement could be made on eco-logistics, eco-production, eco-design, eco-resources, and eco-procurement at the companies, industries and supply chains levels. This will not be sufficient if appropriate leadership, policy, regulation and standards are in place.
Prof Koh said: “South India is an interesting and challenging region; there are a lot of business opportunities for high quality HE and training provision and a significant shortfall of skilled workers. Attracting foreign investment into India is essential for its success but serious barriers of infrastructure and road conditions will need to be addressed first.”
Professor Koh is Director of the Executive MBA Programme and Founder and Director of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group.
To find out more about the Logistics and Supply Chain Management (LSCM) Research Group
To find out more about The University of Sheffield Executive MBA