This year’s RELEX Supply Chain Award for research in the field has been given to Annika Alftan.

Alftan, who studied Supply Chain Management and Corporate Geography at the Hanken School of Economics entered a thesis titled “Collaborative Buyer-Managed Forecasting: a new framework to create a competitive supply chain in the grocery sector.”

The award was handed over at RELEX’s annual supply chain seminar in Helsinki earlier this month.

The jury called Alftan’s thesis ‘a thoroughly conducted case study with a good supply-chain-level focus and broad business applications’. The study was a rigorous assessment of collaborative forecasting in the grocery sector and, drawing on a wide and varied pool of data, concluded by forging a coherent model with strong, real-world uses.

“I did my undergraduate thesis on different collaboration models and found them really intriguing,” Alftan says, “but I also realized most of the models have flaws.”

Alftan sets out a new collaboration model, where a centralized forecast is created using sales data from stores, inventory data and forecasts for future seasons, product launches and promotions, and is shared with all supply chain partners.

The RELEX team offered its congratulations to the winner and its thanks to everyone who submitted their work for the 2013 awards.

“There’s nothing we at RELEX enjoy more than encouraging today’s researchers who will become tomorrow’s thought leaders in our field,” says RELEX’s MD Mikko Kärkkäinen.

“RELEX is driven by never-ending innovation and constant improvement so that our clients can run the best supply chains possible. So it’s great to know that there is a generation coming up behind us who are as devoted to this task as we are.”