CSCRL Research

Research Areas

CSCRL researchers have expertise in a wide range of areas, including:

  • Inventory optimization and management
  • Facility location and network design
  • Pricing and revenue management
  • Supply chain coordination and collaboration
  • Vehicle routing
  • General-purpose mathematical optimization
  • Lean manufacturing and distribution
  • Collaborative transportation
  • Scheduling
  • Supply chain risk management
  • Information system risk
  • Information systems payoff
  • Business forecasting
  • Demand planning
  • Electronic commerce
  • Inter-organizational information systems
  • Role of logistics in SCM
  • Buyer-supplier collaboration
  • Supply management scenario development
  • Health care information systems
  • Predictors of supply chain effectiveness

Supplier Satisfaction Surveys (S3)

Most companies would benefit from a more enlightened approach to managing their supplier relationships. As a diverse set of research shows, relationships matter to the point where they can be a source of competitive advantage. We know that suppliers are critical to a company’s success. But how do these suppliers feel about doing business with the company? Is the company a good customer who consistently receives preferential treatment and investment from suppliers? Or just another customer who fails to capture the benefits that a world-class supply base can potentially provide to key customers?

One way a company can find out how its suppliers feel about it is simply to ask them. The CSCRL has developed an innovative research methodology called the Supplier Satisfaction Survey (S3). S3 asks detailed questions about suppliers’ perceptions of the sponsoring company within the following areas:

  • Supplier performance feedback
  • Ethical and business conduct
  • Procurement knowledge and skills
  • Responsiveness to supplier concerns or questions
  • Quality and delivery performance requirements
  • Business-to-business relationship
  • Quotation, negotiation, and contracting practices
  • Business opportunity and payment terms
  • Supply chain information sharing and transaction efficiency
  • Comparisons against an ideal customer

S3 is designed to achieve some important outcomes that benefit companies directly and quickly. First, by analyzing the survey results, the CSCRL can identify strengths, weaknesses, and improvement opportunities as they relate to the success of a company’s supplier management efforts.

A second outcome from S3 is a quantitative score that measures the sponsoring company’s performance against that of an ideal customer. Companies can use this score as a benchmark to assess progress after making improvements to their supplier management practices.

A third innovative feature of the S3 design is its ability to calculate and rank performance gaps. These gaps represent the difference between what suppliers say is most important to them and the performance scores that they receive from those suppliers.

And finally, S3 moves beyond the presentation of data to provide advanced statistical analyses and a customer-focused action plan that identifies specific improvement opportunities.

Any company may sponsor an S3 study, but CSCRL member companies receive discounted pricing.

For more information, or to sponsor an S3 study, please contact us.

Student Research

Lehigh’s students are among the CSCRL’s most important resources. Our students are talented, well educated, and motivated, and the CSCRL views research as an important part of their educational experience. The CSCRL facilitates student projects sponsored by our member companies. Associate Members are entitled to a semester-long research project conducted by one or more Lehigh students and supervised by a Lehigh faculty member. Companies that join the CSCRL at a different membership level are entitled to discounted pricing on student research projects. Student projects are performed by students with a variety of backgrounds, including engineering and business students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Learn more about membership here.