ORIGO; Norwegian Companies as Centre for Global Supply Chain Management

About the project
ORIGO is a three year research project supported by the Research Council of Norway. The project consortium consists of Mustad, Hydro, Stokke and SINTEF. The companies face common challenges in operating global supply chains. The goal of the ORIGO project is to develop methodologies and tools which strengthen Norwegian companies ability in global supply chain management

The essential topics for the project are supply chain strategy, design of global supply chains, developing control models that integrate local and global control and exploiting state-of-the-art information systems. The concept is visualized as a Global Control Center that help make companies to get improved control over the flow of goods and information through production and distribution.

Figure: ORIGO concept: Global Control Centre

Global supply chains – new challenges for control
In recent years there has been a trend of Norwegian companies moving more of their production abroad in order to lower costs and access new markets. Such international expansion gives the companies more complex supply chains as the production, distribution and sales activities takes place across numerous sites and markets. One of the main challenges in managing global supply chains is related to the control aspect. Controlling global supply chains includes among other:

  • Coordinating use of local resources and personnel with other actors in the supply chain
  • Controlling material flow between actors locally and globally
  • Managing information flow of information, both internally and between different actors in the chain
  • Transportation of raw material, components and finished products between actors and out to the customer

Several factors contribute to increased risk and complexity in management of global supply chains: variation in the demand, geographical distances, foreign exchange, increased competition and cultural differences. At the same time, the focal company shall maintain and strengthen its competence in value adding activities. At the present, companies are lacking tools and methodologies for global supply chains that handle decisions about strategy, design, control and IT systems in a satisfactory way.

ORIGO – global supply chain management
The project’s aim is to find an effective way for managing global supply chains. Local production management will be integrated to the global supply chain through a concept which ensure the strategic, tactical and operative aspects. The following five research challenges are targeted:

  • To develop a holistic methodology for global supply chain management applicable for companies in different industries
  • To develop supply chain strategy based on a clear business model and appropriate decision support
  • To design global supply chains that combines streamlined material flows with quick responses to market changes
  • To develop control models for global supply chains that integrate local control with centralized coordination
  • To exploit state-of-the-art ICT systems with dashboard solutions that can visualise the right information at the right time


Published October 2, 2006

A research project supported by the Research Council of Norway