Supply Chain Management in Times of Crisis – An Empirical Review

On October 16th, 2013 Dr. Kai Hoberg (Associate Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy at the Kühne Logistics University) will give a lecture on the topic “Supply Chain Management in Times of Crisis – An Empirical Review”. The lecture is open to the public. Space is limited, so please register ahead of time.

Past event — 16 October 2013

Kühne Logistics University
Grosser Grasbrook 17, 20457 Hamburg

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Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg

Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

Kühne Logistics University - KLU

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In this talk we review the impact of supply chain management in times of crisis. For the past 30 years, supply chain management practices have evolved and enabled practitioners to reduce costs, improve services and reduce inventories. Nevertheless, many firms are still struggling to define the right amount of inventory for their business model. This is particularly true if firms are in a crisis situation. We consider two different types of crises:  first, a crisis of an individual firm that requires to free up cash, and second, an economic crisis that affects many firms. For individual firms in a poor financial situation, we investigate the relationship between financial distress and inventory reductions using quarterly panel data of U.S. manufacturing firms for the period from 1995 to 2007. We compare the inventory actions in successful and unsuccessful turnaround situations. We find that for defaulting firms the inventory reduction are significantly lower than for firms that are able to resolve their financial distress. In addition, we analyses firm’s inventory performance in the last economic distress period – the Financial Crisis in 2008/2009. We find that many firms were not able to react decisively to the significant drop in demand and built up significant stocks. We investigate the drivers that enable responsive inventory management and analyze the financial impact of responsive inventory management.


Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg is Associate Professor of Supply Chain and Operations Strategy at the Kühne Logistics University since May 2012. From 2010 to 2012 he was Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management at the University of Cologne.  Kai Hoberg received his PhD in 2006 from Münster University, Germany under supervision of Prof. Dr. Ulrich W. Thonemann. In his academic career he was a visiting scholar at different top universities, e.g. S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, Israel Institute of Technology, and NUS Business School at National University of Singapore. Kai Hoberg earned a Diplom Degree in Industrial Engineering at Paderborn University, Germany and Monash University, Melbourne.

Kai Hoberg’s current research topics include empirical supply chain management, inventory modeling and the link between operations and finance.  In particular, he explores the fundamental drivers of supply chain performance and strategies applying real-world data. His research findings have been published in academic journals like IIE Transactions or European Journal of Operational Research.  Besides research, Kai Hoberg is very enthusiastic about teaching supply chain management applying new teaching concepts.

More info about Prof. Dr. Kai Hoberg

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The KLU Lecture Series is a forum for scientists and practitioners to talk and discuss on state-of-the art topics related loosely to logistics and entrepreneurship.


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