Central to the research of the Impactful Value Chains research group are the processes and systems underlying the care, industry and services of the 21st century. For instance, the research group is contributing to a transition to productive, value-driven organisations.
The 21st century calls for different ways of thinking and working. In order to escape the finiteness of natural resources, chains need to transform from linear to circular. In order to be productive and competitive, organisations need to further streamline their processes. In order to increase the welfare of people within organisations, they must have challenging and meaningful work. In order to survive in an uncertain time of transition, organisations need to learn to deal with uncertain circumstances and navigate their way through them. That calls for agility, the ability to cope with divisions and a capacity for learning. We believe that is possible with existing resources, if we embrace new ways of thinking: resources such as Lean Management, Six Sigma, Design Thinking and action learning, where necessary supported by digital tools; new ways of thinking such as creating value for all stakeholders, now and in the future, here and in the rest of the world. Real value instead of financial value. Focus on value maximisation instead of profit maximisation.
And we are challenging organisations not to wait until there is no other choice or until the government imposes requirements, but to proactively start taking steps towards an organisation of broad-based prosperity, guided by the ‘true north’ of sustainability. To this end, we are working with the Continuous Improvement minor at Avans University of Applied Sciences, in which students learn to actually solve problems in real-life situations. We have also been working for several years with the Amphia Hospital, tackling work pressures with the help of the ‘Care Simplifiers’. In partnership with the business administration study programme in Breda, we present SMEs with a status report on their sustainability (‘SustainABLE’) and help them come up with an approach to improve it. And we are working with the Midpoint Brabant development agency to enhance the ‘broadly-defined productivity’ of SMEs.
Within the research group, we have four programme lines:
- Digitalisation for Impactful Value Chains
- Transition to Impactful Value Chains
- Impactful Care and Welfare
- Creating Impact
Associate research group
The associate research group ‘Digitalisation for Impactful Value Chains’ headed by associate professor Alinda Kokkinou falls within the first programme line. Its research programme specifically focuses on how organisations can use digitalisation and data analytics to become more agile by improving the quality of their administration and decision making.