Browsing by Subject "supply chain"

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  • Mukhtar, Usama (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    Sales forecasting is crucial for run any retail business efficiently. Profits are maximized if popular products are available to fulfill the demand. It is also important to minimize the loss caused by unsold stock. Fashion retailers face certain challenges which make sales forecasting difficult for the products. Some of these challenges are the short life cycle of products and introduction of new products all around the year. The goal of this thesis is to study forecasting methods for fashion. We use the product attributes for products in a season to build a model that can forecast sales for all the products in the next season. Sales for different attributes are analysed for three years. Sales for different variables vary for values which indicate that a model fitted on product attributes may be used for forecasting sales. A series of experiments are conducted with multiple variants of the datasets. We implemented multiple machine learning models and compared them against each other. Empirical results are reported along with the baseline comparisons to answer research questions. Results from first experiment indicate that machine learning models are almost doing as good as the baseline model that uses mean values as predictions. The results may improve in the upcoming years when more data is available for training. The second experiment shows that models built for specific product groups are better than the generic models that are used to predict sales for all kinds of products. Since we observed a heavy tail in the data, a third experiment was conducted to use logarithmic sales for predictions, and the results do not improve much as compared to results from previous methods. The conclusion of the thesis is that machine learning methods can be used for attribute-based sales forecasting in fashion industry but more data is needed, and modeling specific groups of products bring better results.
  • Vaillancourt, Alain (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2015)
    Economics and Society – 291
    Major disasters, conflicts and poverty afflict many millions of people around the world. To address the needs of these people, humanitarian organizations deploy a vast array of resources supported by material, financial and information flows. Some of these resources need efficient logistics support to achieve their goals and through vertical or horizontal coordination, humanitarian organisations can improve the way to respond to a situation. A specific approach to coordination is consolidation which this thesis explores in depth. The thesis and its articles aim to understand the competence and underlying resources for consolidation of materials in supply chains. This thesis covers material consolidation concepts and humanitarian logistics activities such as warehousing consolidation, procurement consolidation and transportation consolidation. The research presented in the thesis is composed of three individually authored articles, the first one is a conceptual paper based on a literature review entitled “A Theoretical Framework for Consolidation in Humanitarian Logistics”. The second article is entitled “Procurement Consolidation in Global Humanitarian Supply Chains” and the third article is entitled “Kit Management in Humanitarian Supply Chains”; both these two articles are based on empirical case studies. This thesis further contributes to dynamic capabilities as it identifies a result that can be expected from the lower supply chain competition and interest in coordination and cooperation by humanitarian organizations: facilitating access to competencies in between organizations through specific consolidation activities. Humanitarian organizations do not seek profit neither do they compete through their supply chains and instead sometimes cooperate and coordinate to improve aid delivery.
  • Zhao, Quingjian; Wen, Zuomin; Toppinen, Anne (2018)
    From the perspective of supply chain, benchmarking the embodied carbon flows and emissions landscape is to study the carbon footprint in supply chain production and process management. On the basis of the theory of a green supply chain, this paper conducted its research through the following steps. First, a multi-level supply chain model was proposed and established, and various sectors, production and management processes, and inputs and outputs of different resources were integrated into the supply chain network, and then divided into multiple levels. Second, a multi-level embodied carbon flow and emissions model was established through the Leontief Inverse. Third, based on the operation data of forestry-pulp and paper companies, the embodied carbon flows and emissions at all levels and sectors were estimated and analyzed. Finally, the dismantling and processing methods of complex carbon network structures were explored, the hot-spot carbon sources and paths were obtained, and the low-carbon innovation and development strategies were proposed. The research results show that: (1) Supply chain is a new idea and carrier to study the spatial and state changes of carbon, and also provides a platform for spatial landscape analysis of carbon; (2) The modeling and calculation of carbon flows and emissions offer a new solution of evaluating the environmental performance of companies with high pollution and emission such as forestry-pulp and paper companies, and provide the government effective technical support to implement environmental regulations and formulate carbon emission reduction policies.
  • Camargo, Marisa Camilher; Hogarth, Nicholas J.; Pacheco, Pablo; Nhantumbo, Isilda; Kanninen, Markku (2019)
    Despite the plethora of discourse about how sustainable development should be pursued, the production of agricultural commodities is held responsible for driving c. 80% of global deforestation. Partially as a response, the private sector has made commitments to eliminate deforestation, but it is not yet clear what factors these commitments should take into account to effectively halt deforestation while also contributing to broader sustainable development. In the context of private sector commitments to zero-deforestation, this study characterizes the perceptions of different types of stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in order to determine the main challenges and solutions to encourage sustainable production. The main purpose is to understand the key factors that could facilitate a transition to a more sustainable supply while harmonizing the multiple actors’ interests. A qualitative thematic analysis of perceptions was conducted based on responses from 59 interviews with different stakeholders along the cocoa and chocolate supply chain in six key producing and consuming countries. Thematic analysis of the responses revealed six main themes: (1) make better use of policies, regulations and markets to help promote sustainability; (2) improve information and data (e.g., impacts of climate change on cocoa) to inform sound interventions; (3) focus on the landscape rather than the farm-level alone and improve integration of supply chain actors; (4) promote better coordination between stakeholders and initiatives (e.g., development assistance projects and corporate sustainability efforts); (5) focus on interdependent relationships between social, environmental and economic dimensions to achieve sustainable development; and (6) engage with the private sector. The study shows the importance of identifying different stakeholder priorities in order to design solutions that accommodate multiple interests. It also emphasizes the need to improve coordination and communication between stakeholders and instruments in order to address the three different dimensions of sustainability in a synergistic manner, considering the interactions from production of raw material to end consumer.
  • Gwagilo, Paul (Helsingfors universitet, 2014)
    Non-wood forest products (NWFPs) are one of the major sources of food and income for rural populations in Tanzania. A survey was conducted to assess the economic importance of non-wood forest products in the study area. The study was carried out in two villages; Shebomeza and Mkwakwani in Muheza and Korogwe districts, from 12th to 25th July, 2013. A structured questionnaire was used to gather data from the respondents. A total of sixty-four respondents were chosen based on their involvement in NWFP practices. The most important NWFPs are fodder, honey, beeswax, cloves, cinnamon, nuts, fruits, medicinal plants and aromatic herbs. There was statistical significance in household income difference of respondents from the two villages and in respondents with different farm sizes. No statistically significant differences were found due to income differences of respondents with different age classes and respondents with respect to different number of livestock. This study also analyzed the most important NWFPs in the study area, the frequency of collection, purpose for collection and income generating potential. Factors affecting peoples’ perception of the economic importance of NWFPs have been discussed as well as their impact on consumption and income generation. Opportunities and constraints within the supply chain have been identified and suggestions have been put forward on how local community can easily utilize the supply chain for their benefit.
  • Haavisto, Ira (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2014)
    Economics and Society – 275
    The goals of humanitarian organizations are to save lives, decrease human suffering, and contribute to development. However, humanitarian response has been criticized for its lack of positive impact on the societies receiving aid, or more precisely, for the lack of the effectiveness of the aid. Discussion of the effectiveness of aid has seemingly been incorporated at the operational level as focus on cost and time efficiency. However, efficiency considerations have been criticized because they can lead to oversight of other considerations, such as sustainability. Humanitarian practitioners have started paying attention to measuring their performance. Measuring the performance of humanitarian operations, however, can be cumbersome, due to the complexity of the operating environment, which has limited data accessibility and multiple actors involved. This thesis’ overall aim is to analyze how supply chain performance is understood in the humanitarian context. The research questions are deliberated on in four essays. Each essay has a different scope, ranging from an intra-organizational supply chain perspective to a macro perspective on country logistics performance. This thesis builds mainly on the literature about humanitarian supply chain and its performance measurement. To date, the performance literature in the humanitarian context has covered different performance measurement frameworks and suggested specific key performance indicators. However, it has not yet tackled the essence of performance measurement, which should be connected to the goal of the activity at hand and support learning and development.
  • Voipio, Pauli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Achieving goals set for sustainable development and a prosperous life for future generations requires a collective effort, including from people on a private level, national governments, and private organizations alike. Sustainable development is often divided into three pillars, the environmental, economic and social pillars. One sector at the center of this is the agri-food sector, where social sustainability appears to be receiving little attention along its value chains. Oats, a staple product for Finland and Sweden, are considered a sustainable product from environmental and health perspectives, as well as potentially from an economic standpoint, but again social sustainability in the oats value chains is missing from the discussion. This thesis sets out to assess to which extent the social dimension of sustainability is addressed in these oats value chains. Using a mixed methods approach, the thesis explores the different measures used for assessing aspects of social sustainability. Measuring progress in sustainable development is often done through the use of indicators, which many of them are derived from the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Indicators are meant to reveal areas where progress has not been made and policy should be targeted for development. Large organizations are reporting their contributions in annually published sustainability reports. For this, sustainability aspects need to be measurable, which requires converting real-life phenomena into measurable indicators, often quantifiable numbers. This is especially difficult for some social aspects. There is a risk policymaking loses its focus of pursuing development beyond the indicators, but instead is only trying to answer to the indicators. The thesis is applying a qualitative mixed methods approach. First, published sustainability reports are assessed, followed by indepth, semi-structured expert interviews. The research material consists of two published sustainability reports, an unpublished sustainability report comparison document, as well as 11 interviews. The data was gathered in March, April and May 2022. The interviews were analyzed using a qualitative content analysis and divided into themes for analysis. From an objective general standpoint, the oats value chain stakeholders valued all three dimensions of sustainability equally, but through the use of examples of activities the same did not translate into the organizations’ daily activities. Actions and programs were more focused on environmental and economic aspects, and the absence of social sustainability examples in initial responses proposes a slight disregard toward the social dimension. Still, organizations introduced a variety of methods in place for assessing social issues, especially internally. Organizations in the oats value chain are looking to make an impact for a more sustainable future, but measuring performance presents challenges, especially on the social side. Categorizing aspects of social sustainability under different dimensions of sustainability is complicated.