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International Purchasing and Supply

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Report from RICC Maastricht University

30 Jun 2020 08:50 | Jenny Backstrand (Administrator)

Dear IPSERA friends,

For many reasons, 2020 will be remembered as a special year. COVID-19 confronted us with unique challenges, both in our personal and professional lives. It made us realize that despite all the progress we have made in science, the world is still not malleable. Never before we had to cancel an IPSERA conference…, it was a wise and brave decision that was made by the organizing committee in the uncertain early days of the pandemic. On the upside, however, never before did so many world leaders spoke about purchasing and supply chain management. The spotlight is on our profession! Many organizations are reconsidering their global supply chains, and/or developing new (local!) sourcing strategies for key spend categories. Most likely, academics will be contacted to provide evidence and/or inspiration for these new strategies. If not, make yourself heard!

Half of the RICC team (and RICC dog) discussing bottleneck sourcing of face-masks during COVID-19 - With at least the prescribed 1,5 distance

Since March 2019, we are a Regional IPSERA Center of Competence (RICC) and we are very happy that we invested in developing our team just before the pandemic. Our PSCM team almost doubled in size!


Beginning of RICC team - today the group is double the size!

We launched our Brightlands Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (BISCI) which is aimed at stimulating digital and sustainable supply chain innovations in our region. We couldn’t be more happy to have recruited Professor Bart Vos (former Tilburg University and winner of IPSERA 2020 Best Paper Award) and Ton Geurts (former CPO of Bekaert, DSM and AkzoNobel) as our BISCI leaders.

Snapshots from the BISCI opening at the Villaflora in Venlo, NL

Something else that we are proud of is that we were invited by Professor Finn Wynstra (RSM Erasmus University) to take over the organization of WION. This annual 2-day ‘mini IPSERA conference’ (>40 participants in 2020) brings together PSM academics that are working for BeNeLux Universities and/or Universities of Applied Sciences.

Taking over the chairing of the annual WION meeting in Lunteren, NL

In 2019, we contributed to the IPSERA community in many ways (e.g. serving on the executive board, participating in the SIG ‘Purchasing and Product Innovation’, acting as financial auditor, serving on the conference scientific committee, and more). Next to all of the above, we conducted our research and (digitally) delivered our educational programs. Our bread and butter.

What’s on our agenda for 2021? With the RICC it is our ambition to build and sustain a regional PSCM practitioner and academic community with an interest in digitalization, sustainability and innovation. BISCI will start up several new projects with public and private organizations to stimulate innovation in logistics and SCM. Further, we will start up new PhD research (e.g. Digital Procurement) and contribute to IPSERA where we can (e.g. host a SIG meeting).

But, let’s not forget our students! The spotlight is on PSM and students might be attracted by the promising career opportunities. Therefore, we decided to fully redesign our Supply Chain Management Master program in Maastricht, with new courses and content. It will keep us busy in 2020 and beyond!


Robert Suurmond and Bart Vos (Program leaders) working hard on revamping the SCM M.SC. programs 

Let’s all meet in Knoxville at the 2021 IPSERA Conference and make 2021 a year to remember as well. In the meanwhile, stay healthy!

With kind regards, on behalf of Bart, Diogo, Janjaap, Kars, Kris, Lieven, Max, Nadine, Robert, Simon, Tom and Ton,

Frank Rozemeijer

RICC Coordinator
NEVI Professor Purchasing and SCM
Maastricht University

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