Concordia University

Research funding

Recently funded projects

Location and Routing for Hazardous Material Transportation

  • Satyaveer S Chauhan, Associate Professor, Associate Professor, Supply Chain and Business Technology Management, Concordia University
  • Mingyuan Chen, Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Concordia University

Project summary

Rail transportation is considered reliable, safe and economical for long distance. However, moving bulk quantities of hazardous material for long distance requires advanced planning due to various security concerns, environmental regulations, rail/yard infrastructure, etc. In this project, we will identify variety of risks associated with a train on a given route. A quantitative model will be developed to convert all the risks (based on the severity of a risk and the chance of its occurrence) associated with the train into a score. Based on the type of cargo, volume, population exposure on a given route, other regulations and weather conditions, an optimization model will propose suitable routing for train under various risk scenarios. The model will be extended for multi-mode transportation – incorporating intermodal routing and scheduling for economically and safely moving goods between two locations. The project will be done in two phases. In the first phase mathematical programming based approach will be developed for Hazmat transportation. In the second part, a real time approach will be developed to adjust the schedule for possible changes in the demand requirements.

Sustainable Responses to Supply Chain Shocks

  • Fred Davis, Finance, Concordia University
  • Svetlana Davis, Bishop's University

Project summary

Supply chains create value by being reliable and responsive in matching demand and supply.  If this reliability and responsiveness is disrupted, the value of the supply chain is thereby decreased until such time as the reliability and responsiveness has been restored. The extent to which this decrease in value impacts firm value may, intuitively, depend on the type and severity of the shock, in addition to how well the firm manages this type of event. For example, firms having multiple suppliers may incur few problems if one supplier is not able to fulfill their quota in a timely manner; firms having surplus cash or available financing may provide assistance to their supplier in an effort to quickly restore operations, or even acquire the supplier outright. As supply chain shocks occur, it is expected that supply chain partners will develop these and other strategic reactions to ensure the sustainability of their supply chain network so as not to detract from firm value.

While much qualitative research has been done in assessing shocks to firms’ supply chains, comparatively little has been done to assess the quantitative impact on firm returns and the associated strategic responses firms develop in their attempt to ensure sustainability within their supply chain network. This paper intends to fill this gap by first identifying specific shocks within the supply chain network and performing event study analysis to empirically determine the immediate and long-term impact on relevant firm returns (those firms immediately upstream and downstream to the affected firm, as applicable, in addition to the firm itself). We then plan to proceed by identifying firm responses which address such shocks, again using event study analysis to determine the market’s opinion of this reaction, and noting the time to implementation. Performing this cross-sectional analysis over time will allow us to control for firm, industry, and supply-chain characteristics for each event while permitting comparisons of differing strategic responses to similar supply chain shocks. Ultimately, we intend to empirically determine which strategic responses mitigate reliability and responsiveness disruptions, and thus result in resilient and sustainable supply chain management.

Emerging Environmental Risks in Agricultural Supply Chains and Their Effect on Commodity and Stock Prices

  • Thomas Walker, Finance, Concordia University
  • Kuntara Pukthuanthong, Finance, University of Missouri

Project summary

Our proposed research project will be an interdisciplinary endeavor that will employ financial risk management and climate change analyses in the context of sustainable supply chain management.

Both private and institutional investors are increasingly aware that their portfolio firms are subject to emerging risk factors such as water and climate change risks, particularly if those firms operate in the agricultural / resource extraction sector or if their supply chains are based on the associated agricultural and natural resource commodities.

Natural disasters such as droughts and hurricanes have been known to significantly negatively affect a multitude of industries including, for instance, the agricultural sector, the food and beverage industry, mines and metal producers, as well as the tourism, construction, and insurance industry.

Our proposed project will focus on the agricultural commodity sector and the firms that use these commodities in their production process. Specifically, it will add to the literature on supply chain management and financial risk management by providing a first of its kind study that explores how climate change-driven emerging risks affect the price levels and volatility of commodity prices, as well as the profitability and volatility of the producers and users of the commodities (including, for example, food processors, the transportation industry, and food retailers).

Specifically, we will answer several research questions: (1) How do emerging environmental risks such as water and climate change-related natural disasters, affect the supply chain for certain products? (2) How do these risks affect the price levels and price volatility of commodities and the stocks of firms that use these commodities? (3) Is improving the resilience to climate change and water risks across the supply chain in the best interest of all stakeholders? (4) Do sustainable supply chain management practices make firms resilient to commodity price shocks?

Projects funded in the past

Environmentally responsive supply chain design

  • Satyaveer S. Chauhan, Associate Professor, Decision Sciences MIS, Concordia University
  • Navneet Vidyarthi, Assistant professor, Decision Sciences and MIS, Concordia University

Project summary

Globalization, information technology and competition fueled the growth of new business models based on quick cost cutting and high growth. Recently, these businesses have seen a threat in the marketplace because of the environmentally aware consumer and their preferences toward sustainable products and services.

Environmental responsiveness is becoming another dimension of competitiveness. Manufacturing, logistics and recycling are the three major activities associated with every product that affect their competitiveness on the environmental front. Greenhouse gas emission can be curtailed by adopting new and improved engineering processes as well as by effectively designing supply chain and business processes.

Our objective is to explore the supply chain design and collaborating aspects to create the supply chains which are not only cost competitive but score high on environmental criteria. This collaborative project will be conducted by a team with the help of two graduate students. In the first phase, we will explore the network design models. In the second phase, we will explore a supply chain configuration model which involves collaboration strategies, centralized and de-centralized design. The approaches developed in the first phase will help us in executing the second phase effectively. We expect to finish this project in 18 months.

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