Operational Excellence in Perishable Product Supply Chains (food, pharmaceuticals) during Outbreaks such as COVID-19

Call for papers for: International Journal of Logistics Management

Call for papers
Operational Excellence in Perishable Product Supply Chains (food, pharmaceuticals) during Outbreaks such as COVID – 19

Introduction and Need
Supply chains of perishable items are characterized by short lead times (e.g. reduced time to market) considering their limited shelf life (Ali et al., 2017; Kumar et al., 2020). Agricultural/ food and pharmaceutical products dominate this category where products move in larger quantities and variations impose further challenges on the management of the supply chain (Xiao and Yang, 2017). Typical operations management challenges related to perishable products are handling the large variation in volume to sales ratio, ensuring product freshness, selection of faster routes for meeting shorter lead times, optimizing milk runs, waste reduction and developing strategy for extending shelf life of the products to name a few. 
It has also been observed that nearly one third of global food produce is wasted along the supply chain, which is attributed to factors ranging from technological to operational ones. In order to preserve perishability of food along the supply chain, operations are increasingly supported by the application of digital technologies (Olsen and Borit, 2018; Li et al., 2020). Requirements are constantly rising to enhance sustainability within the food supply chains (Bourlakis et al., 2014; Mangla et al., 2018) and, consequently, operation managers are constantly engaged in devising new distribution channels to the market and mapping the changing consumer behavior patterns. These efforts have led to innovation and dynamism in the logistics and distribution of perishable goods including an increased online food purchasing and rise in demand for safe, high-quality, and local food (Khan and Prior, 2019). With the current outbreak of Covid-19, there is even more pressure on supply chain operations of perishable products. In such pandemic conditions, besides conventional operational challenges, one has to strive towards maintaining consumers’ trust (Feng et al., 2020) where tracking and authenticating the product information along the food supply chain is important for isolating the sources of contamination in food product (Galvez et al., 2018).
Similarly, in the supply chain of pharmaceutical products, besides shorter lead time and shelf life, other challenges include, inter alia, the  development of new product and process development capabilities at faster pace capacity development and planning (Bhatti et al., 2015), plant and network design, inventory management, selection of outsourcing capabilities and quality assurance,  reverse logistics  and identification of critical routes and locations for medicine supplies and market allocation of distribution centres. The primary goal of the pharmaceutical industry, while trying to be profitable, is to build the necessary support for healthcare systems by providing essential medicines at the right time and to the right place (Bourlakis et al., 2011; Huq et al., 2016). However, in pandemic outbreaks such as Covid-19, the resilience of pharmaceutical supply chain becomes a matter of prime concern (Settanni et al., 2017). Thus, the management of these operations become of highest priority (Moktadir et al., 2018). More specifically, supply chain operations (planning, supply, manufacturing, distribution etc) must be designed and managed to accommodate these issues.
The current COVID-19 outbreak has exposed further all these operational challenges in the perishable supply chain and highlighted the need to understand better and present the latest research thinking. The aim of this special issue is to shed further light on the above issues and challenges.

How can you contribute?
This special issue will assimilate novel research in the domain of perishable supply chains in the context of outbreaks in general and COVID-19 in particular. Manuscripts with conceptual, empirical, theory elaboration and theory building research are suited for the special issue. Papers focused with entire mathematical/OR/modelling background would not be suited for this SI. In this SI, manuscripts that use case research methodology to investigate underlying phenomena will be given preference over others.

The special issue will serve as a platform for further studies in the area and will help us as a community to be better prepared for such pandemics in future. Novel, outstanding, high-quality articles presenting original research outputs that have not been published or considered for publication elsewhere should include, but are not be limited to, the following features which must be related to outbreaks such as the COVID-19:
•    Demand management and sharing of POS data for forecasting across the supply chain thereby ensuring lower probability of stock outs.
•    Use of innovative distribution strategies in the supply chain of perishable products.
•    Inventory and stock allocation decisions for the management of distribution and retail stores of food and pharmaceutical products. 
•    Supply Chain 4.0 and other technological interventions such as IoT, Blockchain, Artificial intelligence etc., which support the management of these supply chains. 
•    Procurement planning and management that ensures better product quality and supply chain resilience.
•    Challenges/barriers and solutions/measures in these supply chains during an outbreak.
•    Supply chain strategies to overcome an outbreak.
•    Achieving operational excellence by following various theoretical and managerial lenses (e.g. Lean, Six-Sigma, Total Quality Management, Inter-organizational Information Technologies, etc.) in perishable chains affected by an outbreak.
•    Integrating velocity, viability, sustainability, resilience, and circular economy for higher operational efficiencies in perishable chains

Manuscript submission
Full length manuscripts are invited in this special issue of International Journal of Logistics Management. Authors are advised to follow the submission guidelines provided in the “author guidelines” section of the journal. The authors should submit their manuscripts via the submission portal:
Submitted articles will first be evaluated by the Editor-in chief as well as the Guest Editors of this special issue to ensure suitability in terms of scope of both the special issue and the journal. Suitable papers will be refereed as per the journal’ standard practice.
Tentative time scale
•    Submission deadline: 31st March, 2021 
•    Final publication (tentative): December 2021

Guest Editors: 
Dr. Sachin Kumar Mangla
Plymouth Business School, 
University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. 
Email: [email protected];  [email protected]

Dr. GunjanSoni
Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, India
Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

Prof. Michael Bourlakis
Cranfield School of Management, 
Cranfield University, UK
Email: [email protected]

Prof  Vikas Kumar
Bristol Business School
University of the West of England, UK
Email: [email protected]

•    Ali, Imran, Sev Nagalingam, and Bruce Gurd. 2017. “The Management of Operations Building Resilience in SMEs of Perishable Product Supply Chains : Enablers, Barriers and Risks.” Production Planning & Control 7287 (August). Taylor & Francis: 1–15. doi:10.1080/09537287.2017.1362487.
•    Bhatti, Simrandeep, Singh, Raminder Pal and Singh, Irrenpreet. 2015. “Analytical model for performance measurement in healthcare sector of Punjab”, Journal of Modelling in Management 10(2): 226-237
•    Bourlakis, Michael, Clear,Fintan, and Patten,Lousie. 2011. “Understanding the UK Hospital Supply Chain in an Era of Patient Choice Understanding the UK Hospital Supply Chain in an Era of Patient Choice,” Journal of Marketing Management.27 (3/4): 401-423. doi:10.1080/0267257X.2011.547084.
•    Bourlakis, Michael, George Maglaras, Emel Aktas, David Gallear, and Christos Fotopoulos. 2014. “Int . J . Production Economics Firm Size and Sustainable Performance in Food Supply Chains : Insights from Greek SMEs.” International Journal of Production Economics. Elsevier, 1–19. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2013.12.029.
•    DEFRA, 2011. “UK Consumption Emissions by Sector and Origin,” Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds and Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York.
•    Feng, Huanhuan, Xiang Wang, Yanqing Duan, Jian Zhang, and Xiaoshuan Zhang. 2020. “Applying Blockchain Technology to Improve Agri-Food Traceability : A.” Journal of Cleaner Production. Elsevier B.V. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2020.121031.
•    Huq, Fahian, Kulwant S Pawar, and Helen Rogers. 2016. “The Management of Operations Supply Chain Configuration Conundrum : How Does the Pharmaceutical Industry Mitigate Disturbance Factors ?” 7287 (August). doi:10.1080/09537287.2016.1193911.
•    Khan, Faiza, and Caroline Prior. 2010. “Evaluating the Urban Consumer with Regard to Sourcing Local Food : A Heart of England Study” International Journal of Consumer Studies. 168 (2004): 161–68. doi:10.1111/j.1470-6431.2009.00836.x.
•    Kumar, Anish, Sachin Kumar Mangla, Pradeep Kumar, and Stavros Karamperidis. 2020. “Challenges in Perishable Food Supply Chains for Sustainability Management : A Developing Economy Perspective,” Business Strategy and the Environment. doi:10.1002/bse.2470.
•    Li, Yiren, Kumar, Vikas and Hardman, Paul, 2020. "Managing supply chain visibility: The challenges of the UK food sector". Journal of Supply Chain Management, Logistics and Procurement, 2(3): 261-275.
•    Mangla, Sachin Kumar, Sunil Luthra, Nick Rich, Divesh Kumar, Nripendra P Rana, and Yogesh K Dwivedi. 2018. “International Journal of Production Economics Enablers to Implement Sustainable Initiatives in Agri-Food Supply Chains.” International Journal of Production Economics 203 (July). Elsevier B.V.: 379–93. doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.07.012.
•    Moktadir, Abdul, Syed Mithun Ali, Sachin Kumar Mangla, Tasnim Ahmed Sharmy, Sunil Luthra, Nishikant Mishra, Jose Arturo Garza-reyes, Abdul Moktadir, Syed Mithun Ali, and Jose Arturo Garza-reyes. 2018. “Decision Modeling of Risks in Pharmaceutical Supply Chains.” doi:10.1108/IMDS-10-2017-0465.
•    Olsen, Petter, and Melania Borit. 2018. “The components of a Food Traceability System.” Trends in Food Science & Technology. Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2018.05.004.
•    Settanni, Ettore. 2017. “Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Models: A Synthesis from a Systems View of Operations Research.” Operations Research Perspectives. Elsevier Ltd. doi:10.1016/j.orp.2017.05.002.
•    Siddh, Man Mohan, Soni, Gunjan, Jain, Rakesh, Yadav, Vinod and Sharma, Milind Kumar. 2017. “Agri-Fresh Food Supply Chain Quality (AFSCQ): A Literature Review. Industrial Management and Data Sysrems” doi:10.1108/IMDS-10-2016-0427.
•    Yang, Shuai, Yujie Xiao, and Yong-hong Kuo. 2017. “The Supply Chain Design for Perishable Food with Stochastic Demand,” Sustainability, 1–12. doi:10.3390/su9071195.