What Drives Inventories? An Exploratory Review of Secondary Empirical Research in Supply Chain Management

  • Past event to
  • Open Lecture Series

Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg

Associate Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

View profile

On Tuesday, 25 January, 2011 Dr. Kai Hoberg (University of Cologne) will give a lecture on the topic “What Drives Inventories? An Exploratory Review of Secondary Empirical Research in Supply Chain Management”.


Research in supply chain management in the past decade has focused on developing new mathematical models and optimization approaches to minimize inventories along the supply chains. If assumptions hold, cost and stock reductions can be significant. However, little time has been spent on reviewing the outcomes of these efforts in practice: Could inventories really be reduced? What is the financial benefit of having low inventory levels? What are events that affect supply chain performance? To answer these questions, secondary empirical data that is readily available from different databases can be leveraged. The objective of this presentation is threefold. First, we present and classify different research methodologies using empirical data in supply chain management. Second, we provide an overview on the current state of research in this emerging discipline and highlight selected insights. Third, we define future research directions and show first results on the seasonality of inventories.


Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg holds a position as assistant professor for supply chain management at the University of Cologne. His research interests include the optimization of inventory policies in multi-echelon inventory systems and the empirical analysis of secondary data to study supply chains. Results of his research have been published in high-ranking academic journals (e.g. European Journal of Operational Research, IIE Transactions) and presented at international conferences (e.g. MSOM, Informs, POMS). Before joining the faculty in Cologne, he completed a PhD at Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münsterand conducted research at Cornell University and at the Israel Institute of Technology. Outside academia, Kai Hoberg spent three years as a strategy consultant and project manager with Booz & Company working on supply chain and operations projects for medium and large companies across Europe, North America and the Middle East.

To register please send an email to: beate.linnenberg@the-klu.org

The Lecture Series

The KLU Lecture Series is a forum for scientists and practitioners to talk and discuss on state-of-the art topics related loosely to logistics and entrepreneurship.