This CBRA Interview is with Professor Ari-Pekka Hameri from HEC University of Lausanne.
Hi Ari-Pekka, and thanks for joining a CBRA interview. Can you please first tell a bit about yourself, and what you do here in Switzerland?
Since 2001 I have been full professor in operations and supply chain management at the Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Lausanne. I have been doing numerous research projects with local and international industry on reducing inventories and speeding up value adding processes.
The two of us first met around 1993-94 at Helsinki University Technology, Finland, where you were lecturing in production management (and I was (still) an innocent M.Sc. student of industrial management and artificial intelligence). And then we met again in 2002 at HEC University of Lausanne, where you kindly accepted me as a doctoral assistant. “Post 2001 supply chain security and it´s impacts on the private sector” turned out to be quite challenging topic for a doctoral thesis, I must admit. Do you recall challenging moments between 2003-2010 on putting the thesis together?
Little did I know where that thesis work would lead! Turning a consultant into a researcher is always challenging, especially with you. It took a while for you to understand that it does not matter what you think – it’s the data, methodology and results that count. The numerous surveys, field studies and consulting type problem solving projects did delay your thesis project, yet they built already the network for the CBRA’s future. Eventually, I think what we did together was something that was ahead of time in supply chain management, with the special focus on security. Boy, do I remember our SCSM2008 Conference at Interlaken…
HEC University of Lausanne and CBRA started practical cooperation in supply chain security and trade facilitation research and education fields in December 2005, right when CBRA was registered in Canton Vaud Registry of Commerce… How would you characterize all the joint work – and, the outcomes – from the past 10 years?
This has been single most productive practical research initiative with huge diversity in a focused area that I have been involved with. It has produced numerous academic papers, master theses, doctoral dissertations, plenary reports, conferences, and under graduate and MBA lectures – not to mention the numerous organizations and companies that have been involved. Also the work has had a global dimension and not only focusing Europe.
Just recently, in February 2016, HEC UNIL and CBRA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the collaborative work for the coming years. Would you have any comments on the MoU?
This is something we should have done earlier. The speed has been too fast to concentrate on formalities.
I fully agree to that! Thanks Ari-Pekka for the interview – and see you next on 19 March, 8.30am, at the annual HEC UNIL Executive MBA lecture (btw, too early lecturing hour, on a Saturday morning…)! Juha J