Supply Chain GeoVisualization: Visualizing Geospatial Logistics Data for Supply Chain Management at the Danish Bioscience Company Chr. Hansen

Søren Stærkind & Nathan Heintz

Student thesis: Master thesis


Purpose: In this paper, we present a definition of Supply Chain GeoVisualization, and outline the effects that visualization of geospatial freight logistics data can have on the supply chain of the Danish bioscience company, Chr. Hansen.
Design/Methodology/approach: A systematic literature review exposes an academic knowledge gap, which is explored through a pragmatic systems theory methodology, and a collaborative research approach. The dataset – which includes company documents containing a large logistics report, expert interviews, and empirical observations – undergoes a coding process via Grounded Theory method.
Findings: The use of visualization of geospatial data is found to have promising potential in a supply chain efficiency context. This is primarily found to be because the use of data is profoundly enhanced when managers visualize data points on a geographic map. Specifically, savings on logistics costs were unearthed through the visualization of freight modes, and a suggested switch from Air to Sea Freight.
Research Limitations/implications: This investigation considers only a single case company; future research should test the extent of potential effects of visualisation of geospatial logistics data across organisational boundaries, encompassing entire supply chains and/or industries. This study is the first of its kind to bridge the gap between visualization of geospatial data, the analytical usage of maps, and supply chain management. The disciplines of information management, decision-making and geography are explored in the paper, though only to the extent that they answer the research question.
Practical Implications
The authors demonstrate that geospatial data-visualisation holds good promise for managers and practitioners, and that cost saving opportunities can emerge from a cleverly constructed visual map.
Social Implications: Supply chain transparency and reducing commercial CO2 emissions are contemporary issues facing society. The authors expect that an increased use of geo-spatial visualisation by supply chain management academics and practitioners will bring society a step closer to addressing these concerns; future studies should explore this.
This paper is the first of its kind to connect the use and value of geo-visualisation of Supply Chain Management activities on a global scale – in a collaborative case-study research approach.
Keywords: Supply chain management, Supply Chain Optimisation, SAP Lumira, Data Visualisation, freight logistics, Collaborative Research, Pragmatism, Grounded Theory, GeoVisualization

EducationsMSc in Supply Chain Management , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages147