Italy Associate Professor of Business and Management Engineering University of Bologna Core Faculty
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Paolo Barbieri, MSc and PhD in Industrial and Management Engineering, is Associate Professor of Supply Chain Management at the Department of Management of the University of Bologna, Core Faculty Professor at Bologna Business School (BBS), and Foreign Visiting Professor at The Bayes Business School (former Cass Business School), City University of London. At BBS, Barbieri teaches Procurement and Supply Chain Management in various Master and Executive Programs, and he is the Deputy Director of the Executive Master in Supply Chain and Operations.
He has been Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University and Clarkson Business School, and Visiting Professor at North Florida University and Cass (now Bayes) Business School.
Barbieri’s research activity focuses on on buyer-supplier relationships, supply chain strategy, supply chain and procurement digitalization, and global supply chain management and reshoring. On these topics, he has published on leading field journals such as: Journal of Operations Management, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management, Omega – The International Journal, and others. His studies on reshoring has also been featured in popular press and magazines including La Repubblica, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Resto del Carlino.
He was member of the research team in Eurofound’s grant for the Establishment of European Reshoring Monitoring (2015-2018) and principal investigator of the “Reshoring Phenomenon in the Emilia-Romagna” project. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of ADACI – Associazione Italiana Acquisitori, i.e., Italian Association of Purchasing Managers (the Italian Branch of the International Federation of Purchasing and Material Managers) and invited speakers at 20+ executives’ and professionals’ workshops and meetings. He is consulting and applied research experiences with companies and research centres.


Nowadays companies are constantly forced to align new technological opportunities and the way they create value. Digital platforms are reinterpreting the role of trust and its relevance to make an intermediary worth. Manufacturing companies are more and more extending their activities beyond the delivery and set up of their machines, adding key aftersales components. Automakers are pushed by new technologies to find significant revenues opportunities in software and not just hardware. System integration companies reap higher margins than robots producer by customizing tools and processes. In this course, we will analyze these trends and their impact on people, culture, and processes.

AI and Manufacturing

This module focuses on the management of suppliers and on the purchasing process.

The supply strategy will be analysed in terms of market analysis, development of a portfolio of suppliers and of management of the specific product category of purchase (number and typology of suppliers; methods to manage the relationship: collaborative vs. competitive; opportunities and risks when turning to global sourcing). The purchasing method is analysed in its fundamental stages, in particular focusing on methods and techniques for their streamlining. The module also features a wide overview on modern management tools of procurement (i.e. vendor rating advanced systems, risk management tools for purchases) and a specific in-depth analysis of international purchases, developed also through the analysis of real cases.

  • Portfolio for the strategic management of suppliers: Kraljic matrix and recent approaches
  • The stages of the purchasing process: detailed analysis and streamlining measures
  • The partnership relationship with the supplier: methods, advantages and weaknesses
  • Creating (and using) an advanced vendor rating system
  • Risk-management for purchases
  • International purchases in a changing world: global sourcing, re-shoring or “right-shoring”?
  • Industry 4.0: impacts on the supply relationship.
Supply Chain and Operations

This course focuses on the study of processes required to create value for a final consumer, through the contribution of a network of companies (generally labelled as “supply chain”). Basic as well as more advanced elements of supply chain structure and management, purchasing processes and supplier management will be analysed. Special focus will be devoted to concepts and applications of “digital supply chains.

Logistics and lean logistics. Supply chain flow. Materials and inventory management (JIT/JIS, MRP, Kanban). Win-win approaches in the management of materials (continuous replenishment, consignment stock). KPIs and dashboard logistics.

Strategic management of the supply network represents one of the fundamental determinants of business competitiveness. The need to focus on internal activities on a limited range of distinctive ‘core’ skills, combined with that of ever greater flexibility, enhances the importance that the supply chain has in supporting the pursuit of business objectives in the best possible way.
This course adopts a strategic perspective on supply chain management, through which it highlights and analyzes its relationship with business strategy. It examines the structure of the supply network and the different approaches that need to be taken in managing inter-organizational relationships. It deals with highly crucial issues such as the management of supply risk and supply relationships in crisis situations, the choices of location of production and supply (offshoring-reshoring) and progress towards the digital supply chain.
The teaching method of the course is centered on the constant connection between general models and their practical applications to real-life cases.

Executive MBA

The cross-sectionality of the logistics function and the value chain. Design and planning of the production system layouts. Management and forecasting of market demand. General criteria of programming and audit of production. Procurement and management of inventory and consumable materials. Evolution of just in time systems: from lean production to lean thinking. Automation of the information flow: from barcode to RFID technologies. Management of physical distribution.

Hybrid MBA