KLU Kicks Off Supply Chain Analytics Research Project with Jungheinrich

Kai Hoberg in front of a painting

Professor Kai Hoberg and PhD candidate Christina Imdahl are partnering with Jungheinrich AG in a new research project on supply chain analytics. Their data-driven insights will help Jungheinrich to develop new approaches for improving its operations and supply chain management.

Supply chain analytics offers the potential to finally leverage the data available along a company’s supply chain to derive a competitive advantage. While ERP data on orders, inventory and capacity has been used for many years, the next generation of data analytics can help successfully tap into new data sources. The research project will help Jungheinrich to identify how to leverage data such as supplier lead times, customer take rates or GPS location data to improve its operations and supply chain.

Hoberg emphasizes how operational data can be used to redefine the supply chain strategy: “You have to consider demand and supply volatility when you define your supply chain strategy. If demand and supply are very stable and the product portfolio is small, you can easily stock inventory to buffer against any uncertainty. However, if demand is volatile, supplier lead times uncertain and you have to deal with a huge number of variants, you have to become smarter. You need to carefully analyze your data to gain insight into which strategy works best when: Do you really want to postpone production? Do you want to invest in capacity or use hybrid strategies? Supply chain analytics is a great tool here.”

This joint three-year research project will be supported by PhD candidate Christina Imdahl, who will join KLU on June 1 with an MSc in Mathematics from the University of Göttingen. Stephan Weitkamp, responsible for the Jungheinrich production system, looks forward to the joint research: “We are happy to partner with Kühne Logistics University on this project that aims to strongly influence the supply chain to achieve more flexibility and shorter delivery times in the future,” said Steffen Zaune, Head of Quality and Logistics at the Jungheinrich plant in Norderstedt. He added that there is an enormous amount of data and unused knowledge in the ERP systems and the researchers expect supply chain analytics to reveal this treasure and provide useful solutions for our logistics issues.”

Jungheinrich is one of the world's leading companies in the material handling equipment, warehousing and material flow engineering sectors. The company is an intralogistics service and solution provider with manufacturing operations that offers its customers a comprehensive range of forklift trucks, logistics systems, services and advice. Jungheinrich shares are traded on all German stock exchanges. In 2015, Jungheinrich generated total revenues of €2.75 billion and had more than 13,900 employees around the globe. 

More information about Professor Kai Hoberg.