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Introduction: Exploring Innovations in Global Supply Chain Networks

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The Fifth Annual Conference of the European Decision Sciences Institute (EDSI) was hosted by the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding, Denmark. The University of Southern Denmark has more than 27,000 students and more than 3,500 employees. The university offers teaching and research at six campuses situated on Funen in Odense; in Southern Jutland in Kolding, Esbjerg, and Sønderborg; in West Zealand in Slagelse; and in the capital city, Copenhagen.

The Department of Entrepreneurship and Relationship Management, based in Kolding, hosted the conference. It has approximately 85 employees. Important research areas are within the spearheads of entrepreneurship and relationship management. The department has a longstanding tradition of problem-oriented cooperation that transcends the traditional boundaries between research areas. This is realized through a long line of externally financed research projects. Part of the research activities are carried out individually and part in cooperation with other national as well as international research groups.

The Conference

The conference was held at Hotel Koldingfjord, located in delightful country surroundings right by the water’s edge of Kolding Fjord. There was a great interest for the 2014 EDSI conference. When the deadline for revised full papers and work-in-progress papers became a reality, 43 full papers were accepted for the conference. The conference had a total of 56 participants from 15 different countries, including the United States, Finland, Sweden, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Turkey, Australia, Hungary, Italy, China, England, Switzerland, and Denmark. The conference started June 28, 2014, with a Doctoral Consortium. On June 29, an optional trip to LEGO Land was organized, followed by the welcome reception. The conference with keynote speeches, plenary discussions, and paper presentations took place on June 30 and July 1. On July 2, an optional company trip to Siemens Wind Power was organized.

Doctoral Symposium

The European Decision Sciences Institute’s Doctoral Student Consortium was held at the University of Southern Denmark in Kolding, Denmark. The EDSI Conference is one of the premier venues for empirically focused operations management (OM) and supply chain management (SCM) research in Europe. This year, the consortium adopted a new format that focused more on research-related activities. The highlight of this new format is that a group of OM and SCM scholars served as faculty mentors for the participating doctoral students. Given this intensive incubator format, the doctoral students had the opportunity to present their research proposals to a panel of faculty who provided one-on-one feedback and guidance on each proposal. This year, 14 PhD students participated in the doctoral consortium. The students were from countries including Denmark, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Brazil. The consortium coordinators were Professor Antony Paulraj and Professor Constantine Blome. In addition to these coordinators, Professor Asoo Vakharia, Professor Gyula Vastag, Professor Ram Narasimhan, and Professor Vaidy Jayaraman served as faculty mentors.

Keynote Speakers

Henrik Stiesdahl, Chief Technology Officer, Siemens Wind Power, provided a keynote speech on June 30 with a presentation titled “Supply Chain Innovation in the Offshore Wind Industry.”

Mads Nipper, Chief Marketing Officer, The LEGO Group, provided a keynote speech on the morning of July 1 with a presentation titled “Joint Innovation with Suppliers, Customers, and Consumers.”

Company Visit at Siemens Wind Power

During the visit to the Siemens Wind Power plant in Brande, EDSI participants had the opportunity to see the assembly process of the two offshore turbines manufactured by Siemens Wind Power (the geared 4 MW and the direct-drive 6 MW). Additionally, they also saw one of the blades manufactured by the company, which uses a patented process that fabricated the whole blade as a single piece with no joints or welding points. This makes these blades the biggest single-piece components manufactured in the world. Additionally, the participants had the chance to observe how the assembly of modules takes place and how the machines move through the assembly line. The purpose of the visit was to provide EDSI participants the opportunity to witness the supply chain innovations taking place at the company.

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