Business School

Current research

The Centre for Supply Chain Management (CSCM) conducts research on those aspects of supply chain management that require new ideas for, or new adaptations to, the Australasian environment.


Our research is categorised into four themes:

  1. Supply chain collaboration.
  2. Supply chain risk management.
  3. Sustainable supply chain management.
  4. Supply chain networks and infrastructures

These themes are highly relevant and critical to New Zealand’s supply chains in today’s context. We aim to provide our students and corporate members with relevant and quality research by moving ahead in the fields of operations and supply chain management.

Activities include:

  • A coordinating unit for research teams and funding sources.
  • Ongoing faculty and graduate student research.
  • Commissioned research and interaction with external agents, institutes and organisations.

Centre members are currently working on research projects as outlined further down the page.


Raw log exports from Tauranga: Are they a necessary consequence of New Zealand’s position at the end of the world’s supply chain? - Professor Tava Olsen

Unimproved exports, like the massive piles of raw logs at the Tauranga port, often look like a wasted opportunity to add value, and the New Zealand government, with its move towards investing in high-value manufacturing instead, apparently agrees.

But disinvesting in exports like raw logs to promote alternatives like high-value furniture goes against traditional supply chain (SC) strategy theory. That theory says raw exports are a logical consequence of NZ's remote position in the world's SC.

Using a framework from the 1990s, it teaches that commodity-type products like logs or milk powder are best served by efficient SCs, while innovative high-value products like custom furniture or hypoallergenic baby formula are best served by responsive SCs that can react quickly to changing customer demand.

More basically though, before we recommend government to apply it, is the theory sound? It has not been widely validated empirically, nor fully modelled mathematically, nor ever applied to NZ.

We will explore the theory further, empirically test and adapt it using novel, high-quality NZ data, and mathematically model the key trade-offs. We aim, ambitiously, to understand the implications of SC strategy for evidence-based government investment in industry, particularly export industries in NZ, but also worldwide.

This project is one of just three business projects across the country to secure a grant from this year’s Marsden Fund, New Zealand’s prestigious government fund supporting investigator-led research.


Warehouse location scenario analysis

This project investigates warehousing location strategies to evaluate, for an organisation, the related costs and benefits for different scenarios. Results from this project should present implications to the organisation’s commercial business on lead time, serviceability, current site activities, and impact of workforce and workflow. Such objectives are to be achieved through activities including:

  • Process/workflow mapping.
  • Cost driver analysis
  • Financial evaluation.
  • Qualitative and risk assessment.
  • Implications for current site.
  • Recommendations.

Port and terminal operations issues

The goal of the project is to establish the current operation issues deemed to be important by the port and terminal operators in New Zealand.

Initial data about the current issues will be gathered by conducting face to face interviews with the port and terminal operators. Then the preliminary findings from the interviews will be used as discussion topics for a focus group meeting. The focus group will be made up of invited participants from the port operators and management group.

The output from the project will be a report to management on the current operation issues as defined by the port and terminal operators.


Development and computational testing of new polyhedral algorithms for the solution of difficult combinatorial optimisation problems – Laleh Haerian

This research is dedicated to the design and performance measurement of new polyhedral algorithms for solving some difficult combinatorial optimisation problems. The symmetric travelling salesman problem (STSP) is chosen for study, and the related designed polyhedral algorithms are based on the multistage insertion formulation (MI) and its characteristics.


Sustainable supply chain management: A New Zealand perspective – Hendrik Reefke

Hendrik’s PhD research looks at the pressure of the sustainability of supply chain in a New Zealand context. The objective is to identify the key drivers for integrating sustainable supply chain management and its potential benefits.


The effect of taking advantage of expanding 3PL services on supply chains - Peter Shi Yangyan

Third party logistics (3PL) providers play an important role in a supply chain. However, most companies feel that they are hard to survive in fierce competition. 3PL providers need to have a cross-functional presence to keep competitive advantages. Third party purchase is a good option for those companies to increase their services. Therefore, this research will focus on third party purchase as additional value added by 3PL providers and help them keep a sustained competitive advantage.


Outcome-driven supply chain management in SME – Tom Wu

The study attempts to investigate the impacts of outcome-driven supply chain management (ODSCM) practices in SME. The study aims to answer two main research questions:

  • What are the core processes that construct ODSCM?
  • What actual competitive advantages business can gain after ODSCM implementation?