Dr Mel Smith

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  • Qualifications:PhD FHEA
  • Position:Associate Professor in Operations Management
  • Department:Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
  • Telephone:+4411732 84243
  • Email:Mel.Smith@uwe.ac.uk
  • Social media: LinkedIn logo

About me

I am an Associate Professor in Operations Management and until July 2022 was the Leader of Strategy and Operations Cluster at UWE, with line management responsibility for 40+ academic staff and the academic development of the subject.

I am experienced in teaching Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, general Business and Research Methods in the HE sector, along with supervising students from undergraduate placement students, through dissertation supervision, to PhD students.

I am also an active researcher, with various publications in the areas of healthcare service quality, small business, sustainable supply chains and ERP implementation.


Research & Practice:

My background is in business management research, focusing on small firms and performance improvement. I became interested in considering GP Practices (GP Surgeries) as small firms and undertook some research looking at how they are measured and the role of performance measurement in achieving a positive patient experience. I also investigated the concept of service quality in Family Practice and how this can inform improvements in GP-patient consultations. The research developed a set of dimensions of service quality for Family Practices in England and I have recently been awarded some seed funding to look at the processes by which patients are allocated to healthcare professionals in GP Practices, which I hope to develop into a larger bid in the coming year.

I have extensive experience of KTPs, having been involved with 7 projects since 2005, worth nearly £900,000, as follows: 

KTP with Harris Evolution Ltd (Lead Academic) 2020, £182,804
KTP with Absolute Software Ltd (Lead Academic) 2010, £183,094
KTP with Becton Dickinson (Principal Supervisor) 2010, £115,010
KTP with Danser SW Ltd (Principal Supervisor) 2009, £118.974
KTP with Beran Instruments (Lead Academic) 2006, £99,044
KTP with Wessex Products Ltd (Support Academic) 2006, £99,044
KTP with Delco Toolmakers Ltd (Lead Academic) 2005, £99,044.

I also have extensive supervision experience, from undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations to MPhils and PhDs. I have 7 research degree completions as follows:  

David Adkins (2021) - PhD "The Governance of Maritime Clusters and the Impact on Sustainable Development and Social Capital"
Moya Lerigo-Sampson (2019) - PhD "The holistic exploration of the relationship between healthcare professionals' job satisfaction and quality of care"
Mamata Dhakal (2018) – PhD "Reverse Logistics in Micro Businesses : An Exploratory Study"
Uchitha Jayawickrama (2015) - PhD "Knowledge Management Competence for ERP Implementation Success"
Alison Ashby (2015) - PhD "From Principles to Practice: Sustainable Supply Chain Management in SMEs"
Ravi Saxena (2010) - MPhil "The Role of RFID in Improving Product Availability in a UK Apparel Retailer"
Emmanuel Odofin (2009) - MPhil "Implementing Continuous Improvement in Small Firms"

I am currently interested in taking on PhD supervision in the following areas: healthcare service operations and performance measurement; sustainable supply chains; small business operations improvement.

Area of expertise

Recent Research
Healthcare Service Operations
My research into healthcare service operations looks at the somewhat neglected area of General Practice. It is developing collaborative networks internally with the College of Health and Social Sciences and externally with academics other UK universities, along with the local Clinical Commissioning Group for General Practice (from which I have recently secured a small developmental grant) and aims to eventually have a direct impact on the way healthcare is delivered on the ground in primary care.
SME Sustainable Supply Chains
Supervised various PhD projects investigating how small businesses balance the three pillars of sustainability; economic, environmental and social in forward and reverse supply chains. 
Knowledge Management in ERP Implementation
Supervised a PhD project looking at the impact of knowledge management on ERP implementations in large and small firms.

Other research includes:

The development of a tool for introducing strategically derived performance measurement systems in smaller firms; 

Investigating the issues surrounding the adoption of ecommerce in small firms; 

Statistical analysis of timetabling dataset, plus analysis of the timetabling process, to identify the root causes of some of the timetabling problems.

Researching the issues associated with implementing quality improvement tools including lean and 6 sigma in smaller firms.


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