Optimisation of Supermarket Supply-chain Stock Flow

Optimisation of Supermarket Supply-chain Stock Flow

This research project is in collaboration with WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC, the UK’s 4th largest supermarket chain. The goal of this research is to investigate optimisation methods for supply-chain stock flow. Stock volume brought to depots is based on a forecast engine that predicts customer demand, but this process involves significant uncertainties. Changes in demand, particularly at local levels, have knock-on consequences and associated costs at the depot, primarily due to the writing-off of perishable goods. This project will investigate how the various aspects of the supply chain should be considered during the optimisation process and how solutions are affected by increasing the complexity of the optimisation procedure.  

The project will also aim to investigate the choices of individuals when purchasing products. This will consider the complex interactions between different types of product (combinations of products likely to be purchased together), substitutability (if a particular product is unavailable, will customers purchase a similar product instead?) and external effects (e.g., macro-economic, the weather). This will be achieved by developing an agent-based model that incorporates the choices that individuals make when shopping in supermarkets.  


Project Team 

Jacob van Alwon – LIDA Data Scientist, University of Leeds 

Dr Jonathan Ward – School of Maths, University of Leeds 

Prof Nick Malleson – School of Geography, University of Leeds