Supply Chain Management Research Cluster

The Supply Chain Management Cluster, led by Professor Wantao Yu, is a multidisciplinary research group that focuses on developing and disseminating knowledge and practice in the areas of operations, logistics, and supply chain management. The cluster members have successfully completed a number of research projects on agri-tech and agri-food supply chain management funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). Members of the cluster have published their work in top journals such as International Journal of Operations & Production Management, European Journal of Operational Research, British Journal of Management, International Journal of Production Economics, International Journal of Production Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Production Planning & Control, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, and Decision Support Systems

The current research programme of the cluster includes

  • Agricultural Value Chains
  • Big Data-driven Supply Chains
  • Digital Supply Chain Management 
  • Supply Chain Integration and Resilience
  • Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain Management
  • Service Supply Chains


PhD Students

  • Gen Zhao (Supervisors: Prof. Yu, Dr. Yurt)
  • Hang Yang (Supervisors: Prof. Yu, Dr. Asgari)
  • Said Usman (Supervisors: Prof. Yu, Dr. Asgari)
  • Sheikh Muhammad Zahid (Supervisors: Prof. Yu, Dr. Asgari, Dr. Yurt)
  • Qi Liu (Supervisors: Prof. Yu, Dr. Yurt)

Research Highlights

Joining forces with Nottingham Trent University and STFC Hartree Centre to develop an algorithm to calculate optimum growing recipes for nutritionally dense crops

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted what has been increasingly evident for years - the UK must develop more resilient and robust food production methods that meet food sustainability and productivity. Vertical Farming (VF) has been branded as the future of Food Production due to the environmental benefits and food security benefits. The project is run by Professor Yu in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University and STFC Hartree Centre and its aims is to assess the feasibility of an all-encompassing automated monitoring and control system that creates precise and timely propriety Big Data, generated against multiple inputs/ ingredients from the VF growing environment. The researchers will utilise existing microgreen data from sensors and plant performance-based computing to develop an IoT Precision Data Solution for the Vertical Farming environment. The data will then be utilised by data scientist/VF specialists from STFC Hartree Center to develop an algorithm to calculate optimum growing recipes for nutritionally dense crops and improve resource efficiency by reducing costs for the development of an optimum growing system.

Researchers uncover the economic and social impact of the non-emergency healthcare system

Dr Asgari has published three research papers in 2019. Her paper on the location of service facilities in urban areas titled 'OR models in urban service facility location: a critical review of applications and future developments' was published in European Journal of Operational Research (CABS 4). Nasrin with her co-authors studied 110 research papers across different journals and disciplines. They have analyzed these papers on two levels.

On the first, they took an Operations Research perspective to investigate the papers in terms of types of decisions, location space, main assumptions, input parameters, objective functions and constraints. On the second level, they compared and contrasted the papers in each of these applications categories: (a) Waste management systems (WMS), (b) Large-scale disaster (LSD), (c) Small-scale emergency (SSE), (d) General service and infrastructure (GSI), (e) Non-emergency healthcare systems (NEH) and (f) Transportation systems and their infrastructure (TSI). The study results have shown that the NEH area is more mature than the other studied areas in terms of location space. Perhaps the reason is that NEH facilities have a bigger impact both economically and socially when compared with most of the other areas. The authors conclude that this trend will continue in the future. 

Implications on dealing with failure and recovery in hotels and travel agencies

Dr Yurt has recently published a paper in Journal of Service Theory and Practice titled 'The doer effect of failure and recovery in multi-agent cases: service supply chain perspective' which explores the role of different service supply chain members on service failure and recovery as well as their behavioural outcomes. The main findings show that consumers do not show favourable behavioural outcomes when they have good prior experience with an affiliated party. Results of the experiments demonstrate that for hotels, there is no interaction effect between failure and recovery regarding overall customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions; however, for travel agencies, an interaction effect has been found. This indicates that an internal failure (by travel agency), should be recovered internally to increase the behavioural outcomes for travel agency. However, if there is an external failure (by hotel) then the essential thing is providing a recovery.

Our recent research-related successes

Dr Asgari had a literature review article accepted in the Manufacturing and Service Operations Management titled 'Pandemics/Epidemics – Challenges and Opportunities for Operations Management Research.' The paper reviews research articles related to pandemics/epidemics (disease outbreaks of a global/regional scope) published in major operations management, operations research, and management science journals through the end of 2019.

Prof Yu has published an empirical research paper on the “Role of big data analytics capability in developing integrated hospital supply chains and operational flexibility: An organizational information processing theory perspective”. The article is published in the Technological Forecasting and Social Change reveals that BDAC (big data analytics capability) has a significant impact on three dimensions of hospital SCI (supply chain integration): inter-functional integration, hospital-patient integration, and hospital-supplier integration; and that hospital-patient integration and hospital-supplier integration fully mediate the relationship between inter-functional integration and operational flexibility.