Research into natural, political & economic disasters' impact
In the UK, A new University of Huddersfield professor is working with leading companies to help them ensure that supply chains remain intact in a world beset by risks that range from extremes of climate to economic upheaval and political unrest.
Indian-born Professor Samir S. Dani (pictured) has an engineering background, but his UK-based academic career has led him into areas of research that include a detailed investigation using a psychological perspective of the games that are played out between buyers and suppliers in industry. He is currently focussing on the management of risk in supply chains and is the author of a sequence of articles and book chapters on supply chain risk management, an area of academic study that arose after the global shock of the terrorist attacks on New York in September 2001.
Professor Dani states that companies need to be resilient to manage risks and have business continuity. There are two broad strategies that companies can adopt to ensure that their supply chains are not disrupted.
“One is reactive risk management – preparedness in case something does happen over which you have no control. How quickly do you get back on track?
“The other approach, that my current research focuses on, is proactive risk management, which is anticipating risk, using predictive analytics to try and engage what the future is going to hold in terms of the supply chain,” explained Professor Dani.
Reacting to risks
During his academic career he has been awarded almost £600,000 in research funding as a principal investigator or co-investigator and has worked in a number of projects for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre.
Recently, he has collaborated with major confectionery firm Cadbury on an EPSRC-funded project to investigate scenario planning as an “operational risk management” tool to ensure that its supply chain continues to operate seamlessly in the light of a disruption.
The food industry has played a central role in Professor Dani’s research, resulting in articles such as Fragile food supply chains: reacting to risks in the International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications (2010). He is also supervising PhD students who are investigating issues, such as food waste and “risk propagation” – the extent to which problems such as climate extremes or food safety challenges in one part of the world can cascade through the supply chain.
Sustainability within supply chains is a research area that Professor Dani is becoming involved with. He is currently overseeing an investigation of the power structures within buyer supplier relationships, which have an influence on the adoption of sustainability criteria within supply chains. Professor Dani states that “supply chains of tomorrow will need to be designed not just on the basis of being economically sustainable, but environmental and social sustainability will also have an important role to play in the design”.
The importance of supply chains
Professor Dani’s first degree was in mechanical engineering and he proceeded to work for five years at Bajaj Auto Limited, one of India’s largest two and three-wheeler manufacturer; in his home city of Pune. He was awarded a scholarship to come to the UK and study for a Master’s.
Subsequently, he became a research associate for an EPSRC project and embarked on his PhD, which was a psychological study of buyer-supplier relationships. This research earned the A.M. Strickland Prize (2006) awarded by the IMechE’s Manufacturing Industries Division for the Best Paper published in the Journal of Engineering Manufacture.
UPS Posts Record Second Quarter with Revenues of $23.4bn
Growth across each of its core segments resulted in record results for UPS in the second quarter, with group revenues climbing 14.5% year on year to $23.4bn.
The global logistics outfit achieved consolidated operating profit of $3.3bn, up 47.3% compared to the same period in 2020. It is the second consecutive quarter of record profit, and a significant rise on Q1’s $2.9bn.
UPS Q2 Revenues in Brief
- Consolidated revenues: $23.4bn (+14.5% yoy)
- Domestic: $14.4bn (+10.2%)
- International: $4.82bn (+30%)
- Supply Chain Solutions: $4.2bn (+14.3%)
The US company’s domestic segment performed steadily with 10.2% revenue growth to $14.4bn. But it was its international and supply chain solutions segments where UPS saw the biggest gains. Strong demand in Europe led an increase in international revenues of 30% to $4.82bn. UPS’ supply chain solutions division saw revenue growth of 14.3% to $4.2bn, driven, the company said, “by strong demand in nearly all businesses”.
UPS’ steady growth throughout the pandemic has been led by the overarching vision of its chief executive Carol Tomé to do “better not bigger”, focussing on efficiency and high margin deliveries through its network over pure scale and volume.
“I want to thank all UPSers for executing our strategy and delivering high service levels, which fuelled record financial results in the second quarter,” she said. “Through our better not bigger framework, we are moving our world forward by delivering what matters.”
UPS Completes Sales of UPS Freight
The second quarter also saw UPS complete the divestiture of UPS Freight in a deal worth $800m - with a surprise result for the division, now called TForce Freight, under new owner TFI International.
“The second quarter was historically significant for TFI International, with the closing of our UPS Freight acquisition and record performance across the board,” said Alain Bédard, chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, TFI International. “Particularly gratifying is the performance of TForce Freight, which has exceeded our operating ratio targets far ahead of schedule, and we have only just begun our work.”
In it first two months of ownership TFI reported that adjusted operating ratio (OR) was 90.1% for TForce Freight, far outperforming its forecasted OR of 96-97%.
“I wish to thank our entire team for their hard work and remarkable efforts, and officially welcome aboard our new TForce Freight colleagues who have seamlessly come under the TFI umbrella and are already making stronger than expected contributions,” Bédard added.