Two Swedish researchers have won this year’s RELEX Supply Chain Award for research in the field.

Richard Lämsä & Sebastian Mattsson, from Lund University in Southern Sweden, impressed judges with their thesis “Investigation of buying in retail companies – Understanding the effects of a central warehouse.”

The paper won praise for its solid methodology, based firmly on real-world case studies. Lämsä and Mattsson sought to offer a clear model of the impact of centralised buying on buying organization, process, and skills and how the transition affects a company’s structure and dynamics.

“We felt the paper was particularly timely,” says Jouni Kauremaa on behalf of the judges, “because so many companies are switching from a devolved buying process to a centralized one that makes the most of the efficiencies the latest supply chain technology brings.”

“We are very proud to have won the RELEX Supply Chain award,” say Lämsä and Mattsson. “We are particularly grateful that there are awards, such as this from RELEX, specifically focused on supply chain management, and which acknowledge junior researchers in the field.”

So many companies are switching from a devolved buying process to a centralized one that makes the most of the efficiencies the latest supply chain technology brings.

Lämsä and Mattsson will present their study at RELEX’s Stockholm Seminar on April 22nd.

Meanwhile the judges also awarded an honourable mention to Dutch researcher Tim Van Pelt, of Eindhoven University of Technology, for his study of ‘Multi-echelon inventory management at Sligro Food Group N.V.’ a Dutch food wholesaler.

Judges praised a ‘Practical, well-researched piece of work, built upon solid assumptions which were tested and proven, whose demonstrable results could benefit other companies. Van Pelt, will share his findings at RELEX’s annual seminar in Helsinki on January 21st.

RELEX’s Managing Director, Mikko Kärkkäinen, was very impressed by the quality of the submissions that came from universities across Europe.

“Ten years ago we were those guys; researchers at universities getting excited about solving supply chain problems,” he says. “And at RELEX we’re all still researchers at heart – we never stop working on new solutions to problems.”

“The winning papers go right to the heart of current supply chain challenges. The Central Warehouse is becoming important as never before, but many of the issues that change raises are ones that involve people and organisation. Richard and Sebastian go to the heart of that conundrum.”

“As for Tim’s study, it’s of particular interest to everyone at RELEX because we’ve been making such dramatic inroads into the food wholesale sector right across Europe, so we’re really looking forward to hearing more at Wednesday’s seminar.”