BEM's Operations and Supply Chain management research team looks at the supply chains' multi-functional nature (purchasing, production and distribution of products and services) and the many different kinds of decisions that have to be taken (from very short-term operational decisions to strategic decisions).
The team's main aim is to develop organisational and management methods and methods to assist decision making in order to monitor change in supply chain management theory and practices and to consolidate both the national and international reputation that BEM has enjoyed in this area for a long time. The team's work falls under four areas of research:
- Modelling and evaluation of the performance of supply chains
- A sustainable supply chain
- New technologies and the supply chain
- New supply chain practices
Research work has three goals: to gain national and international academic recognition by publishing research in the best journals, publications and conference reports; to develop close cooperation with the world of business by providing it with the methods needed to become more competitive in terms of performance (quality, cost, lead times); and to add to the School's pedagogical resources by developing case studies and simulations which can be used in the teaching of supply chain management.
Several activities are organised:
• International Supply Chain Campus: established in 2008, this centre of international expertise brings together the research laboratories of BEM, Université Bordeaux I (IMS), Bordeaux IV, and the industrial engineering schools: EIGSI La Rochelle and ESTIA Bayonne. The members of this centre work together on two areas: the creation of new ways of organising transport and the implementation of new supply chains which respond to the development challenges faced by regions and society.
• Participation in a National Research Agency project (€2m) on the "real time" organisation of transport and the routing of products with RFID technology. The aim of this project is to consider this technology as a means to make the product "intelligent". This involves linking to or giving the product the means to communicate multiple pieces of information which are used to organise the routing of the product to the customer and the conditions under which routing takes place.
• The 8th International Meeting of Logistics Research
(RIRL) took place on September 2010 at BEM. These meetings are an international scientific event which brings together researchers in the field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management every two years under the aegis of the International Association of Research in Logistics.
• Journal and publications: BEM publishes the journal, "Logistique & Management", the only French language journal dedicated to supply chain management research. Supported by AIRL, the International Association of Research in Logistics, this journal has been given a B ranking by the CNU (Conseil National des Universités) under the classification system for French management science journals. Since 2000, BEM has also published the English language journal, "Supply Chain Forum: an International Journal", which explores all areas of logistics, Supply Chain Management and the management of operations. As for the team's publications, scientific articles were accepted/published in 2009 in international journals with a ranking of either 1 or 2 (CNRS classification system).
• Specialized programme: BEM's ISLI programme, which was created in 1984, incorporates the latest innovations produced by this research into its teaching and is recognised as the leading programme in Logistics and Global Supply Chain Management in Europe.