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International visitors forge way for Ocado project

31 July 2019

Man delivering seminar in classroom

Cardiff Business School had the honour of hosting Professor Joseph Sarkis and PhD student Samuel Allen from Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Foisie Business School Massachusetts, and Dr Tian Xu from the Environmental School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University between 16-19 July 2019.

On the morning of 16 July, Professor Joseph Sarkis held a seminar to discuss paper publishing journeys, particularly in high-quality journals.

He tackled the question ‘What do you need, to publish?’ advising attendees to make the argument that their paper is timely and current, is important to society, fits the scope of the journal and that the market and readership will like it.

Professor Sarkis then focused on ongoing research examples and detailed two papers he’d collaborated on with Cardiff Business School academics.

  1. A theoretical paper on food waste, which is under review in a high-quality journal, written by Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, Emrah Demir, Xun Wang and Joseph Sarkis.
  2. ‘Maritime Container Shipping: Does Coopetition Improve Cost and Environmental Efficiencies’, written by Andrew Trapp, Irina Harris, Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues and Joseph Sarkis.

Different approaches and perspectives

In the afternoon, Joseph Sarkis, Tian Xu and Samuel Allen led a workshop on ‘Sustainable Supply Chains’.

The session highlighted the visitors’ different approaches and perspectives on the topic.

Professor Sarkis presented his expert opinion on what the current and future trends are in the field of sustainable supply chain management.

Samuel Allen’s research focuses on food waste and how it poses a significant challenge to sustainability. He presented a system dynamics application of food waste minimisation and mitigation.

Tian Xu discussed the need for trade to be evaluated by more comprehensive indicators that complement market-based economic value. She closed the workshop by introducing energy method and then explained ‘eMergy’ as a complement to trade or economic evaluation.

Ocado project kicks off

Four men wearing high-visibility jackets in a warehouse

On 17 July, Joseph Sarkis, Samuel Allen, Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues and Xun Wang visited Ocado’s head office and fulfilment centre in Hatfield, as they commence work on their collaborative research project to mitigate and minimise food waste in the supply chain.

Ocado is funding a second wave of research with Cardiff Business School to develop and test models to measure and optimise food waste in its supply chain.

This was the new project team’s first engagement with Ocado to kick off the project. In addition to the tour of their customer fulfilment centre, they met with an Ocado team to help scope and design the project.

Dr Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues, Senior Lecturer in Logistics and Operations Management at Cardiff Business School, said: “Our international collaboration with Professor Joseph Sarkis started in 2015 and has been progressing significantly since…”

“The academic and industry outputs produced, as well as the funding that has been generated from the Ocado projects on food waste minimisation and mitigation, have enabled our collaboration with Professor Sarkis further.”

Dr Vasco Sanchez Rodrigues Reader in Logistics and Operations Management

Professor Joseph Sarkis, Operations, Supply Chain Management and Sustainability expert from Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Foisie Business School in Massachusetts, added: “Food is critical to this and future generations. Food is a basic, fundamental need for sustaining and sustainability, and our food security is dependent on managing our food waste…”

“Too much food is being wasted and Ocado, with its approaches, is minimising food waste to help address this issue. Finding out how we can help is an important part of this collaboration.”

Professor Joseph Sarkis Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s Foisie Business School in Massachusetts

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