The emerging agro-food networks fit into what scholars describe as economic and rural development paradigm shifts, partly in response to many clarion calls within academia and civil society for change in agro-food system priorities.There is an ever-widening body of interdisciplinary research on these reactionary agro-food systems, which take various names, including alternative food networks, civic food networks, and short food supply chains.In this context, I hereby present some of the key areas in which, the students may like to conduct their research studies.
This is because the global business frameworks operated and managed by multinational businesses are changing rapidly because of the challenges posed by globalization and liberalization, which directly affects supply chain design and management of an organization.
Environmental issues, economical challenges, financial crisis, challenges to sustainability, fluctuating oil prices, increase of carbon footprints, dynamic scenarios of multinational trade relationships, agreements, and barriers, global conflicts and wars, rising threats to international sea cargo, land cargo and air cargo, rising threats to congested lanes and channels, single points of failures, lack of feasible alternate routes, increasing supply chain risks, increasing global competition, rising benchmarks of customers' expectations, challenges of flexibility, agility, and responsiveness and many more similar issues are significant challenges facing modern supply chain managers who are already under pressure to reduce lead times, inventory holding and costs in every step of supply chain management.
Keywords applicable to this article: inventory, logistics, supply chain network design, transportation network design, distribution network design, warehousing, push and pull supply chain, supply chain efficiency and effectiveness, supply chain performance drivers, demand forecasting, aggregation planning, economies of scale, supply chain risk management, global supply chains, IT management in supply chains, E-supply chains, Lean Six Sigma in supply chains, sustainable supply chains.
By: Supply Chain Management is one of those research domains that will always have research opportunities and research topics for dissertation and thesis projects.
The studies will be based more on interviews and focus group discussions because the students will need to learn from specialist network designers and network managers in supply chains.
(a) Multiobjective optimization problems in supply chain network design under risks and uncertainties (multiple topics are possible for designing different configurations of a supply network through mathematical optimization in operations research theory) (b) Value creation through robust supply chain network design (c) Optimised supply network design through process engineering and value chain creation (d) Agile and lean production strategy through robust closed-loop supply network design (e) Effective Supply chain network design for effective demand fulfilment at low operational costs and through high quality and timely deliveries (f) Effective Supply chain network design for reducing carbon footprints and improving environmental sustainability (g) Effective Strategies for robustness in supply network design for reducing service disruptions amidst uncertainties in flow of supplies (h) Effective Supply network design for dealing with uncertainties in demand information flow and high seasonal fluctuations (i) Effective Supply network design for curbing Bullwhip effect and reducing the resulting effects of beer gaming and order rationing games (j) Supply chain network design for integrated flow of materials, funds, and information in forward and reverse logistics (k) Supply chain network design for implementing, maintaining and operating strategic supplier agreements (l) Multipath routing design in national supply chain networking based on variability in path costs and path delays (m) Supply network optimisation through system dynamics modeling, network simulations, and Taguchi method (n) Designing a multi-echelon multi-vehicle network with optimal routing under time window constraints for perishable products supplies (o) Optimized supply network design for capacity planning and balancing of production capacity, logistics capacity, and distribution capacity (p) Designing locations and interconnectivity of temporary in-transit storage infrastructures for multi-hop multi-path transportation networks (q) Designing a flexible transportation, logistics, and distribution network for lean and agile order fulfilment of small batch orders (r) Solving an integrated supply chain design optimization problem for multiple irregular shipments caused by production and logistics delays using hybrid Taguchi - Immune method (s) Strategic and tactical supply chain network designs for managing risks and uncertainties under stochastic demand variations (t) Evolutionary approaches of flexible logistics network designing and redesigning for variable capacity, resources, and funds allocation decision-making based on variations in costs, efficiencies, and lead-times (u) Principles influencing agility, flexibility, responsiveness, resilience, and quality of supply chain network design (v) Multi-party multi-supplier supply chain network design based on order booking and fulfilment services through cloud computing : It is almost an empirical fact that the world is now gradually drifting towards demand pull supply chain strategy for demand chain management instead of mass production and products push strategy.
A sample of possible research topics in this area is presented below.
In fact, many modern scholars are talking about renaming "Supply Chain Management" to "Supply Network Management".
This is because companies no longer just manage multi-tier suppliers in the form of chains but rather manage a whole network of suppliers for their key purchases.