Digital supply chain strategy

Project summary

Artificial Intelligence, Cyber-Physical Systems, Cloud Computing and Blockchain have transformed traditional, linear Supply Chain systems into highly connected, agile and intelligent digital supply networks. These digital technologies enable Supply Chains to increase their operational efficiency and generate a competitive advantage through a wider offering and availability of products, often at a lower cost. An insight report on Supply Chain 4.0 by McKinsey & Company suggests that a digitalised supply chain is expected to lower operational costs by 30% and reduce lost sales and inventory by 75%.

However, despite the potential benefits that Digital Supply Chains can offer to organisations, the Korn Ferry Institute found, through a survey of 100 senior Supply Chain executives, that 70% of them consider their organisations were far from realising the promised benefits. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and World Economic Forum (WEF) have established a number of internal and external strategic, economic, technical and managerial factors that can play a role in preventing companies from transforming their supply chains into digital networks:

An additional factor that is often overlooked is the formulation and deployment of an effective strategy to enable a company's transition towards the digitalisation of its supply chain.

This research will consist in investigating, for example:

Based on the results, recommendations or a conceptual framework for the effective integration or parallel utilisation of lean and CE will be proposed.

Research cluster

Centre for Supply Chain Improvement

Entry requirements

For our PhD programmes, we normally expect you to have a First or Upper-Second (2:1) honours degree and preferably a masters degree from a UK university or qualifications that we consider to be equivalent.

International students may also need to meet our English language requirements. Find out more about our entry requirements for international students.

Project-specific requirements must align with the University's standard requirements

How to apply

Please contact Professor Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes ( in the first instance.

The University has four starting points each year for MPhil/PhD programmes (September, January, March and June). Applications should be made at least three months before you would want to start your programme. Please note that if you require a visa additional time will be required.


Self-funded by student. There is a range of options that may be available to you to help you.


Tony Anosike
Senior Lecturer in Supply Chain Management

Tony's research interests are in the areas of Supply Chain Sustainability and Resilience, Food Supply Chain, Lean and Agile Manufacturing, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things, Blockchain and Big Data applications in supply chain. As well as supervising PhD, MSc/MBA and undergraduate projects, he also teaches across both postgraduate and undergraduate programmes in the Derby Business School.