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Revolutionizing Supply Chain Resilience: JADS contributes to The RESTRETCH Project

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In recent years, the global landscape has been affected by various crises, challenging supply chains in unprecedented ways. From the COVID-induced shutdown of ports to the disruptions caused by the Ukraine war, the fragility of supply chains has been exposed. These crises, coupled with factors like energy price fluctuations and political tensions, have underscored the need for comprehensive risk management strategies. Traditional methods, focused on estimating risks, often falter in the face of rare, impactful events. This highlights the demand for innovative solutions that can better prepare supply chains for disruptions.

The Power of Reverse Stress Testing

In a world where even the most reliable global supply chains can falter, Jheronimus Academy Data Science (JADS) is collaborating with Wageningen University (WUR) and a number of business partners on the RESTRETCH project, starting this fall. This project is built around a novel concept – reverse stress testing. While traditional risk assessment techniques estimate the likelihood and consequences of disruptions, reverse stress testing works in reverse. It identifies worst-case scenarios, then traces them back to the root events, offering valuable insights into critical failure points in the supply chain. By focusing on extreme events, it prepares supply chains to weather even the most unexpected storms.

Advancing Reverse stress testing

The RESTRETCH project takes a bold step towards advancing the concept of reverse stress testing in supply chain management, an approach that has thus far been underexplored in existing literature. This novel perspective can significantly improve risk management in operations and supply chains, allowing stakeholders to gain insight into potential failure modes, the likelihood of their occurrence, and how supply chains respond as indicators approach critical thresholds. By weaving together these innovative techniques with data analytics, RESTRETCH aims to not only enrich the field of supply chain resilience but also bridge the gap between theoretical frameworks and real-world applications.

JADS is in the lead to develop data analytics methods whereas Wageningen is in the lead to design a reverse stress testing framework. The companies involved in the project will contribute their supply chain practices and experiences as use cases for reverse stress testing.

Project Goals and Expected Outcome

The RESTRETCH project strives for tangible impacts that transform supply chain resilience. It aims to achieve this through diverse means, such as fostering hands-on learning for students via 9 MSc thesis projects and internships. By disseminating findings through academic papers and articles in professional and newspaper outlets, the project bridges academia and the business community. It also enriches education by integrating results into curricula at institutions like Wageningen University and JADS. In addition, RESTRETCH will engage in conferences, social media, and case study development to amplify its influence. A final white-paper publication will further disseminate insights to a broad audience. These goals collectively underline RESTRETCH’s commitment to reshaping supply chain resilience practically and academically.

Connecting companies and developing use cases

Within the framework of the RESTRETCH project, Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS) will play a pivotal role in connecting various companies within the project. In this process, JADS will closely collaborate with these companies to develop and elaborate on different use cases based on the datasets provided by the companies. This pivotal aspect of the project will be addressed with the assistance of interns, who will be engaged in data analysis and insights generation. Furthermore, a Ph.D. candidate and an Engineering Doctorate Trainee will focus on creating an overarching model based on the findings derived from these use cases. This model will serve as a framework to evaluate the effects of disruptions by manipulating various ‘levers’ of the supply chain processes. This collaboration between JADS, companies, and other partners will not only shed light on critical bottlenecks within the logistics chain of these companies but will also contribute to enriching methodologies for supply chain resilience and management.

The RESTRETCH project will start in October 2023 and will last for 3 years.

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