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Centre for Operational Excellence (COPE)
Faculty of Economics and Business
Centre for Operational Excellence (COPE) Skills and expertise


Stock management and maintenance planning

Proper stock management revolves around 1) estimating the demand for goods and spare parts, 2) monitoring stock levels, and 3) managing orders for the purpose of keeping demand and available stock in balance. Researchers attached to COPE are currently working on several innovative issues within this theme, in the manufacturing industry, supermarket logistics as well as e-commerce.


Stock management is also an important element in maintenance planning. We focus on preventive and condition-dependent maintenance strategies and their relationship with stock management. Examples are: determination of the quantity and location of spare part storage.

Smart manufacturing and services (including Lean, workload management, production planning)

Smart manufacturing focuses on the use of existing and new technologies, including information technologies, for the purpose of improved communication between various specialised and automated processes in the value chain.

Further integration of the Internet, sensor technology and robotics is supposed to bring about the Internet of Things, which will allow all partners in the value chain to make use of information regarding manufacturing, distribution and (re)use of products. COPE researchers, in cooperation with fellow-researchers attached to the Groningen Engineering Center , are putting emphasis on issues relating to the application of these concepts and technologies for the purposes of improving production planning processes and controlling workloads.

Logistics, including network design, transport planning, warehouse design

Logistics play a vital role in most COPE projects. Special emphasis is put on issues pertaining to optimisation of supply chains and networks, design and management of warehouses, and proper transport planning.

COPE researchers are also closely involved in improving sustainability of the greening of logistic processes and solving logistic challenges which will ensue from the transition to sustainable energy and fuels.

Supply Chain Management, including analysis, integration and coordination)

COPE researchers have ample experience in dealing with supply chain management issues, including improving cooperation between partners and coordination of various production processes within the chain.

In addition, due to increasing pressure to reduce costs, supply chains have become more and more vulnerable to disruptions. Both large disruptions affecting one partner, such as strikes or natural disasters, and small disruptions, such as a temporary breakdown of a production line, may have a huge impact on other chain partners. COPE researchers focus on the question how businesses can arm themselves against this risk without loss of efficiency.

Last modified:04 September 2018 09.14 a.m.
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