RSM wins EFMD award for supply chain management case

Professor René de Koster and Philip Lazar from Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) won the supply chain management category in the 2014 EFMD case writing competition by the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD).

The annual EFMD case writing competition aims to encourage and support the writing and creation of new and innovative case material, and focuses on specific issues, as well as specific regions of the world. In total, 235 cases were submitted. Winners of each category win a €2000 award.

The supply chain management case Vanderlande Industries: Parcel And Postal Predicaments is written by Professor René de Koster from RSM’s Department of Technology and Operations Management and Philip Lazar, an alumnus from RSM’s MSc in Finance & Investments. Vanderlande designs, engineers, manufactures, and implements customer-specific material handling systems.

Vanderlande case

De Koster and Lazar’s case explores whether the company should move from a project-based organisation to a product-based organisation. They discovered that the latter would result in competitive, cheaper, products, but requires a substantial overhaul of the organisation. The question is whether both types of operations could exist next to each other, and whether the new resulting products could serve as vehicle for developing related new services. The Vanderlande case builds on theories of efficient and responsive supply chains and dual-win service strategies.

Terry Verkuijlen, Managing Director Warehouse automation, Parcel and postal, commented on this award: ‘The case describes how we at Vanderlande developed a system which currently has been sold and delivered to more than 60 Distribution Centres at DHL Deutsche Post. We achieved to change our project specific approach into a product-based approach by standardising our solution, which enabled us to more efficiently sell, engineer and install. We gladly allow others to learn from us and hope they will share their insights with us’.

Case categories

Other case categories for the EFMD competition were corporate social responsibility, entrepreneurship, family business, finance and banking, emerging global Chinese competitors, Euro-Mediterranean managerial practices and issues, African business cases, Indian management issue and opportunities, responsible leadership, inclusive business models, Latin American business cases, MENA business cases, and bringing technology to market. 

Winners in these categories include cases conducted by IBS Hyderabad, IE Business School, Indian School of Business, INSEAD, Kellogg School of Management, Middlesex University Dubai, Richard Ivey School of Business, Singapore Management University, and the University of Regina.

The “Best of the Best” category will be evaluated by The Case Centre and the results of the overall winner of the competition will be announced later in 2015.

European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD)

Management development network EFMD is an international membership organisation, based in Brussels, Belgium. It has more than 800 member organisations from academia, business, public service and consultancy in 81 countries. EFMD is a unique forum for information, research, networking and debate on innovation and best practice in management development. It is also recognised globally as an accreditation body of quality in management education with established accreditation services for business schools and business school programmes, corporate universities and technology-enhanced learning programmes.

EFMD is also one of the three largest and most influential business school accreditation associations worldwide. RSM is among only one per cent of business schools worldwide that has triple-crown accreditation, which includes recognition from the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) by EFMD, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is a top-tier European business school and ranked among the top three for research. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who carry their innovative mindset into a sustainable future thanks to a first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes. RSM also has offices in the Amsterdam Zuidas business district and in Taipei, Taiwan.

For more information on RSM or on this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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