Cranfield School of Management


Cranfield School of Management
Senior Lecturer


Prior to her academic career Heather graduated in Mechanical Engineering and worked in the packaging industry for a number of years fulfilling manufacturing roles responsible for productivity, quality and design improvements. During this period she also completed a Marketing Diploma, part time, to gain an appreciation of approaches to demand creation to complement her knowledge and experience on demand fulfilment and operations management. Following the completion of an MSc in Engineering and Management of Manufacturing systems at Cranfield University she joined BICC, a large cable manufacturer, as an internal manufacturing consultant. Here she took a leading role in performance improvement projects and first developed an interest in form postponement as a strategy for improving supply chain performance. She subsequently won an EPSRC Industrial Case Award, from BICC, to fund her Doctorate at Cranfield School of Management. 

Current activities

Heather joined Cranfield School of Management faculty in 2004 following the completion of her Doctorate at Cranfield University addressing the application of the form postponement strategy in manufacturing industry. As a Senior Research Fellow she now manages the Agile Supply Chain Research Club, which provides a collaborative forum where member companies can share promising supply chain practices and participate in Cranfield University research. She subsequently works on a wide variety of research projects in the Supply Chain Research Centre. Her particular areas of interest include: form postponement and mass customisation segmented (or customer responsive) supply chain strategy outsourcing of logistics and procurement in the NHS development of buyer-supplier partnerships. While primarily a researcher Heather also leads a module, and delivers lectures, on supply chain core concepts and strategy on both the full time and executive MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. She also delivers lectures on the case study research methodology to the Doctoral Research Programme. 


Current clients include: 

  • DHL 
  • O2 
  • Bausch & Lomb 
  • British American Tobacco 
  • Hewlett Packard 
  • PPG 
  • Pitney Bowes 
  • Tata Group 
  • Port of Tilbury 
  • P&G 
  • Nestle 
  • Travis Perkins
  • Past clients include: 
  • CEVA Logistics 
  • TNT Fashion 
  • Environment Agency 
  • MOD 
  • BAE Systems 
  • Siemens Magnet Technology 
  • Applied Materials 
  • Kongsberg Automotive


  • Articles in journals
  • Conference papers
  • Books

Articles In Journals

  • Hansen C, Mena C & Skipworth H (2017) Exploring political risk in offshoring engagements, International Journal of Production Research, 55 (7) 2051-2067.
  • Cerruti C, Mena C, Skipworth H & Tavoletti E (2016) Characterizing Agile Supply Partnerships in the Fashion Industry, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, 36 (8) 923-947.
  • Skipworth H, Godsell J, Wong CY, Saghiri S & Julien D (2015) Supply chain alignment for improved business performance: an empirical study, Supply Chain Management, 20 (5) 511-533.
  • Wong CY, Skipworth HD, Godsell J & Achimugu N (2012) Towards a theory of supply chain alignment enablers: a systematic literature review, Supply Chain Management, 17 (4) 419-437.
  • Skipworth H & Harrison AS (2008) Implications of form postponement to manufacturing: a cross case comparison, International Journal of Production Research, 46 (1) 173-195.
  • Skipworth H & Harrison AS (2006) Implications of form postponement to manufacturing a customized product, International Journal of Production Research, 44 (8) 1627-1652.
  • Skipworth H & Harrison A (2004) Implications of form postponement to manufacturing: a case study, International Journal of Production Research, 42 (10) 2063-2081.

Conference Papers

  • Nonhoff B, Skipworth H, Bourlakis M, Mena C, Bernon M & Reefke H (2017) Exploring the imperative for purchasing strategic alignment to drive purchasing maturity. In: 24th EurOMA Conference 2017, Edinburgh, 1-5 July 2017.
  • Carr J, Skipworth HD & Mena C (2016) Product architecture design: the role for supply chain configuration. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Production and Operations Management Society, Orlando, FL, 6 May 2016.
  • Shao W, Skipworth H, Welch N & Noble G (2012) A supplier segmentation framework to support a growth strategy at British American Tobacco. In: 23rd Annual Conference of the Production and Operations Management Society, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A, 20 April 2012.
  • Shao W, Skipworth H, Welch N & Noble G (2012) A supplier segmentation framework to support a growth strategy at British American Tobacco. In: Logistics Research Network, Cranfield University, Cranfield, 5 September 2012.


  • Harrison A, van Hoek R & Skipworth H (2014) Logistics management and strategy: competing through the supply chain. Harlow: Pearson Education Ltd.
  • Bernon M, Baker P, Mena C, Palmer A, Smart A, Skipworth H & Templar S (2012) Towards more sustainable supply chain management. In: Cranfield on Corporate Sustainability. Grayson D, Exter N (ed.), Sheffield: Greenleaf Publishing, p. 149-166.

Read about executive education

Other experts

Experience Keywords Bollywood; Hindi cinema; South Asia; audiences; children; creativity; film studies; media education; media literacy; media; online participation; political contexts; young people; youth civic participation Research Summary Dr Banaji''s research interests include the meaning...
Elliot has practised intellectual property (IP) law on 4 Continents since 1995 – first in Australia, then Europe, and since 2005 in China. From Clyde & Co’s China offices Elliot now advises international clients on contentious and non-contentious IP matters, with a focus on strategic protecti...