Nov. 8, 2020Print | PDF
PhD in Management candidate Sara Babaee has been named as a recipient of the 2020-21 Transport Canada Scholarship. With her focus of research centred around supply chain management, Babaee studies how perishable products move through the supply chain and is one of only six students to receive the honour.
“It’s so inspiring. It’s a great recognition of the research I do as a PhD student of supply chain management in Canada. I’m really honoured to be the recipient of this scholarship and I’m grateful to the Canadian Transportation Research Forum for recognizing my research,” says Babaee.
The scholarship is awarded to a number of Canadian graduate students each year by the Canadian Transportation Research Forum (CTRF) and carries a value of $6,000 to be dedicated toward their research interests in the transportation field. The end goal is to create a pipeline of researchers and professionals who possess the knowledge and skillset to keep Canada competitive within the global supply chain industry.
“It is estimated that annually, $42 billion worth of vegetables and fruits are wasted … out of which approximately 13% occurs at the distribution stage.”
Babaee’s work has already begun to deliver a deeper understanding of how perishable products move from producer to consumer. 77 per cent of Canadian food waste takes place within the food supply chain, with only 14 per cent coming from the household level. Improvements have been made in temperature-controlled transportation and other areas, and Babaee has developed a program designed to improve freshness-keeping decisions made during transportation.
“Losing products due to spoilage during transportation not only complicates the planning to provide enough products to serve all markets but also has a significant economic impact,” Babaee explains. “It is estimated that annually, $42 billion worth of vegetables and fruits are wasted … out of which approximately 13% occurs at the distribution stage.”
Plugging a $5.4 billion hole in the supply chain isn’t a simple task, there are a vast number of different freshness-keeping options that all impact the cost and complexity of each individual process differently. These options all have an effect on the cost of delivering the product, the quality of the end product, and the price that being charged to the consumer. Babaee says that her ultimate aim was to “find a joint ordering, transportation, and pricing policy to maximize the total profit of the retailer and study different strategies for decreasing waste in fresh produce supply chains.”
Her research uncovered a couple key factors that contribute to maximized profits and minimized waste in these notoriously perishable supply chains.
“My research shows how implementing good management techniques and investing in technology to decrease the transportation cost of high-quality transportation options can be used as effective strategies for decreasing the waste in fresh produce supply chains.”
Drawn to the Lazaridis School’s PhD in Management program because of its high regard and ranking in Canada, Babaee has come to appreciate the academic support and professional development the program offers.
“Throughout my PhD studies, I have received amazing support from my supervisors and all the other faculty members in the program. The program puts a tremendous emphasis on our personal skills development and I’ve been provided with so many opportunities to advance my skills in conducting research.”
The Lazaridis PhD in Management program offers concentrations in accounting, financial economics, marketing, organizational behaviour and human resource management, and supply chain, operations and technology management. For more information about the program, its application process, and associated faculty, visit our website.