Supply Chain Innovation: How Technology Can Create a Sustainable Future Course - University of Twente


2 locations available
Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description


Understand how new technologies can make supply chains more sustainable and learn how to deal with today's trends.

Why join the course?

Every product that we use today is the result of a supply chain - a complex series of steps that turn raw materials into the final products we use and everything related to this. Managing these supply chains has become more and more a challenge, especially with all modern technologies and today's trends. The 24-hour economy, fast delivery of goods to your home, wanting to have customized products and of course, the focus on sustainability are a few of these trends.

In this course, you will learn why managing supply chains are important and challenging. It is a key activity for both large multi-national companies as well as for small businesses. We’ll find out how to design supply chains that meet future economic, environmental and social requirements, asking questions such as:

  • How did global supply chain become what they are today?
  • How can current information and communication technology (ICT) make supply chains more efficient?
  • Which trends do we need to recognize and cope with?
  • How can you implement sustainable supply chain innovations?
  • And what impact will sense technologies, such as the use of RFID, have on the supply chain?

We will look at examples from the food industry. Also, the building and construction supply chain will be discussed since it has a big impact. One out of three trucks is construction related so innovations applied on this chain can have a huge impact.

You’ll be encouraged to apply the knowledge you gain to your own product or industry (or a company and supply chain you’re interested in). You are invited to share your ideas for optimizing your supply chain with other learners.

Together with academics from the University of Twente and experts from industry, you’ll learn how to innovate supply chains. These instructors have vast experience in integrating ICT and extensive research in supply chain process optimization, innovation and management.


Week 1
Introduction to supply chain innovation

  • Introduction to supply chain innovation
  • Sustainable and global supply chains
  • Key processes in a supply chain
  • What are drivers for supply chain innovation?
  • Wrap up of this week

Week 2
Innovations and sustainability in supply chains

  • Introduction to supply chain innovations and sustainability
  • What are the innovations in today's supply chains?
  • What is sustainability?
  • Summary of this week

Week 3
The role of information technology in supply chains

  • Introduction to ICT in the supply chain
  • History of ICT in the supply chain
  • Current use of ICT in the supply chain
  • Next-generation ICT in the supply chain
  • Innovation at a logistic provider: the case of Kuehne + Nagel

Week 4
Business process management and enterprise architecture

  • Architecture view and integration
  • Business process modelling concepts
  • Chain integration
  • Week summary

Week 5
Sensing in supply chain

  • Introduction sensing in supply chain
  • The Internet of Things
  • Communication and sensing technologies
  • Positioning
  • Week summary

Week 6
Supply chains in the construction industry

  • Introduction to supply chains in the construction industry
  • Why supply chains in the construction industry are interesting
  • Challenges of urban building
  • Supply chain innovations in construction
  • Wrap up for this course

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts.

  • 21 September 2020

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to:

  • Describe the key trends in supply chain innovation.
  • Explain in their own words the role of information and communication technology in supply chain innovation.
  • Discuss the impact of innovative information and communication technology in a clear and substantiated way.
  • Reflect on supply chain innovation in different application areas, as for example logistic service providers and construction industry.

Who is the course for?

Supply chain is a cross-disciplinary area. In this course, we give a broad overview rather than focusing on detailed quantitative/mathematical or ICT skills. Although we’ll challenge you to perform some basic modelling and technology activities, the focus is on thinking supply chain and recognizing the impact of ICT so that you can be an innovator in this area and a driver of change. Key to a good supply chain manager is his/her ability to think across company borders and functional domains. In addition, being interested in both business and technology is essential.

This course is aimed at professionals and students in disciplines such as ICT, operations, marketing, finance,.. who wish to learn more about supply chain management. Supply chain management and operations professionals and students that want to learn from about new trends and technologies can also benefit from the course. As we are all end customers of supply chains and the impact of supply chains on our world is enormous, many of us wish to know what is happening behind the scene. You are all invited to join!

Who will you learn with?

Jos Van Hillegersberg

I'm a professor in Business Information Systems at the University of Twente. I love to research and design an innovative and sustainable business using new ICT. Lead educator of the SC Innovation Course.

Hans Voordijk

I'm an Associate Professor in Supply Chain Management at the Department of Construction Management and Engineering. I like to research Supply Chain Management and ICT issues in the construction industry.

Who developed the course?

University of Twente

As a young and entrepreneurial university in the Netherlands, the University of Twente prepares young people to tackle the grand challenges the world will be facing during the coming decades.

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Last updated Oct 2020

About the School

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Learn 100% online with world-class universities and industry experts. Develop your career, learn a new skill, or pursue your hobbies with flexible online courses. Read less
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