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

  • 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.


  • 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.