Research stories

Research Stories tell us how students answer questions that arise from our company members. They give a brief overview of the findings, analysis, and (re)design. In many cases, the results from these research stories resulted in significant savings for and large operational and supply chain improvements with our companies.

All research stories can be found here (members only).

When does multi-echelon inventory control pay off?

When inventory is optimized locally, inventory control is often based on a single-echelon approach. But a single-echelon approach might not be optimal from a broader supply chain perspective. In order to optimize stock levels over multiple supply chain stages and still ensure a high service level to end customers, Van Lierop focused on the potential of multi-echelon inventory control. More precisely, she studied the potential of centralized inventory control under different settings. This should help to strive for optimized stock levels throughout the entire Hilti network, and in the meantime ensure a high service to end customers. Van Lierop addresses this challenge in her Master thesis ‘Quantifying the benefits of multi-echelon inventory control’.

The VMI effect within Heineken’s Dutch supply chain

The global beer market is consolidating with less local and more global brewing companies. The remaining players enter into a hyper-competition to be innovative and to differentiate themselves from each other, in order to leverage their scale for increasing operational excellence. As part of Heineken’s drive to improve operational excellence, a new enterprise resource system will be introduced. It has an optional module that supports collaboration based on the Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) framework. Heineken has been exploring VMI collaboration with a number of customers. Rolf van der Plas aimed to validate the effectiveness of VMI for Heineken and its customers, like retailers, by quantifying the effect on supply chain performance.