The mission of the Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management is to:
- carry out and increase research activities in distribution management at HEC;
- solve problems arising from the distribution management industry and the public sector;
- create new synergies by initiating multidisciplinary research programs involving faculty from several departments, research centres and chairs;
- provide support to graduate teaching in distribution management;
- enhance HEC’s public image in this field.
The concept of distribution management encompasses transportation and location activities within organizations. In the manufacturing sector, distribution management includes transportation activities associated with supply chain management, i.e., the movement of goods from suppliers to factories and then to customers. In the public sector, distribution management includes operations associated with garbage collection, mail delivery, snow removal, street cleaning, etc. The expression “distribution management” first appeared as the title of a book by Eilon, Watson-Gandy and Christofides in 1971. It is now commonly used in the scientific literature and in university curricula. Over the past four decades, distribution management problems have been extensively studied in the scientific literature. Initially much of the effort has been centered on the solution of problems arising in the private sector. However, more recently, several public administration authorities have seen their budget curtailed, which has led to an increase in the use of scientific methods to solve management problems.
Creation of the Chair
The Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management was created on April 1st, 2001, as part of the Canada Research Chairs Program. It was officially launched on September 11, 2001 at HEC Montréal.