Contact Esteban Lizarazo lizarazo


Industrial Engineer, MBA, DBA (candidate).

Research opportunities

Inventory management (IM) practices are important for hospitals for reducing costs whilst at the same time improving quality of care. With the escalation of healthcare costs during recent years, a trend that is expected to continue growing, possible solutions can be found in the supply chain management field. Contrary to other industries, inventory management in the healthcare sector has not been given the importance and focus for research in the past. The number of peer review publications in inventory management in general (mainly manufacturing sector) is higher compared to the research done in the healthcare sector (Volland et al., 2017).

On the other hand, countries of developing world account for more than 60% of the global population. The cost pressure in this context is higher and the research in this field is vague. The need for a more efficient healthcare system remains a challenge for the governments and hospitals in this environment. These healthcare systems have different characteristics than the traditionally studied healthcare systems in the developed world, as an example: higher length and variability on supplier lead times, a low development of national infrastructure (railroads, airports and roads), lower labour wages (putting challenges for cost-benefits automation), a volatile and unpredictable rate of currency, a low penetration and utilisation of information systems for managing inventory systems.

"How do clinicians influence the inventory management practice in hospitals in a developing world context?" proposes to identify the mechanisms by which stakeholders (clinicians) and the developing world context influence the inventory management practice in hospitals through multiple case studies in Colombia.

Current activities

Esteban is CEO of Vitalis group leading the expansion of the pharmaceutical group that manufactures and distributes generics in more than 20 countries in Latam and Asia. Esteban was previously the CEO of Grupo Amarey, a prominent distributor of pharmaceutical and medical devices products in Colombia and Central America. As a result of his research, he founded Novatecnica, a hospital logistics leader company improving patient safety and inventory turnovers in hospitals. He has also received the National Quality Award from the presidency of Colombia in 2014 and the Iberoamerican Quality Award in 2019.

Esteban is also active as an advisory board member of pharmaceutical associations, pharmaceutical companies and healthcare companies. He also lectures at Inalde Business School in Supply Chain, Operations Management and Strategy.


Hospitals in Latinamerica and the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries.