On-site Inaugural lecture Prof. dr. ir. Bart Vos
Appointed professor Supply Chain Innovation
"Images of supply chains: Transition paths towards a sustainable future"
These are turbulent times for the Supply Chain Management (SCM) domain, aptly summarized in the acronym VUCA: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In these kinds of circumstances, different images are needed, the traditional efficiency-oriented metaphor is insufficient to realize the necessary transitions. Borrowed from the classic “Images of organization” by Gareth Morgan, in my inaugural lecture I will discuss a number of alternative metaphors for the design and management of supply chains. Examples that are reviewed are the chain as brain, organism, flux & change, dominance and psychic prison. Next, I will use a number of examples from BISCI (Brightlands Institute of Supply Chain Innovation) projects to indicate how these types of metaphors can be useful in realizing the necessary transitions in chains. An example concerns our Fair & Smart Data (FSD) project, which aims to achieve a fairer distribution of value in global food chains through smart technology (the brain). This project is illustrative of BISCI's mission: using digital tools to make supply chains more sustainable.