Supply chains new study to examine why getting in the middle of a chain reaction matters

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WMG, at the University of Warwick, is spearheading a national research study to highlight the crucial role supply chains play within the British economy.

As pressure mounts for the UK to hit its already downgraded 2015 GDP growth forecasts, the importance of maximising Britain's industrial output has once again come into focus, with supply chains forming a fundamental part of this process.

The online study, which is being led by WMG Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, Janet Godsell and has been designed to uncover our knowledge and understanding of what a supply chain is, and how we as individuals are an integral part of supply chains up and down the country.

Professor Godsell explains: "The issue of supply chains is of national importance. Supply chains are key in supporting economic growth, contributing to increasing both GDP and employment levels. Currently however there is a real disparity between the significance of supply chains and the level of understanding amongst both key business figures, political leaders and the wider population about what a supply chain is and why they matter. Supply chains touch almost every aspect of our daily lives but many of us don't know or realise this and we want to know why.

"With the launch of this study, we hope to put supply chains firmly on the corporate and political agenda by informing the future development of supply chain strategy and policy. As part of this we are also keen to highlight the importance of working within a supply chain, encouraging the next generation of school leavers to consider this as a viable and attractive career prospect."

The project combines the principles of crowdsourcing, social networking and storytelling in order to both generate research data and increase public engagement and understanding as more and more people take part. Taking part involves answering a few of simple questions about your knowledge of supply chains and includes an invitation to share your mychainreaction story by explaining how you interact with supply chains. The research team hope that participants will spread the chain reaction as far across the world as possible and by doing so help to achieve the target of 1,000 respondents by the end of July.

The mychainreactionsite features an engaging example of a local supply chain, bringing to life the supply chain story of Stroud based ice cream manufacturer Kate Lowe. In addition, visitors can explore the Story Map, a dynamic mosaic and digital map of all the mychainreaction stories which grows in real time as people join in. To participate visit and click on the Add My Story tab.

Comments (1)

  1. Jan Godsell:
    Jul 14, 2015 at 01:23 PM

    We are currently at 99 stories... well on our way to our target of 1000! Please get in the middle of our chain reaction and share your story.

    We will be commissioning artists through the Warwick Creative Exchange to interpret the results of the study. The artistic commisiions will be presented alongside a more traditional scientific representation at the launch of the Global Supply Chain Debate to be held at WMG, University of Warwick, 10th - 11th November 2015.

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