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Professor Andi Smart

Professor Andi Smart

Professor of Operations & Process Management, Director of Centre for Innovation and Service Research (ISR)


+44 (0) 1392 724439

Building:One, University of Exeter, Rennes Drive, Exeter, EX4 4ST, UK

Andi Smart joined Exeter in 1998. He is Professor of Operations and Process Management, Director of the Centre for Innovation and Service Research (ISR), and Head of Management Studies within the Business School. He has undertaken a number of external duties including: Co-Editor of the International Journal of Operations and Production Management (2009 – 2013); External Examiner for Glasgow University (2007- 2011); Board Member of the European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) (2007 – 2011). During his term with EurOMA Andi founded the Service Operations Management (SOM) Forum with he currently leads. Andi has also previously served as an Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) Scholar, contributing to the debate on High Value Manufacturing. His research interest is in the design and improvement of operational systems, particularly from an Activity System perspective. He is currently investigating Business Models in the mobile payments ecosystem, the optimisation of maintenance activities for off-shore wind farms, the improvement of patient experience in healthcare systems, and the modular design of activity systems. He engages a range of research approaches including case-based qualitative research, discrete event simulation, text analytics and modelling.

In addition to academic leadership Andi has managerial responsibilities for the centre for Innovation and Service Research (ISR). The group comprises over 20 staff including three full Professors, Post Doctoral Fellows, Senior Research Fellows and PhD students. The group pursues collaborative research with industry and has developed partnerships with over 80 organisations through its Service Science Forum (SSF). Andi is also currently serving as Head of Department for Management Studies. This department is comprised of 45 faculty members.


BSc (Computing and Informatics), PhD (Operations Management)


Research clusters

Research interests

Andi’s research focus is on exploring new knowledge in the design and improvement of operations systems. Broadly this involves: building upon Systems Theory as foundations for thinking; conceptualising organisations from an activity systems perspective, which provides the framework for application; conducting inquiry in a variety of contexts. His current conceptual work is focused on identifying contextual contingencies for operations management. This has resulted in the development of his Task-Type classification of operational systems to rival the traditional economic classifications. In addition to successfully supervising seven PhD students and examining two PhD candidates, Andi is currently supervising six PhD students who are investigating a range of service design and innovation phenomena.

His empirical work has involved close collaboration with a range of practitioners (for example, LloydsTSB, Virgin Media, Vodafone, MET Police, EDF Energy, NHS, Rural Payments Agency - RPA). In support of this work funding has been obtained from both private sponsorship and research council grants. He has taken a lead role in large UK and European research projects. He has led a workgroup on a collaborative US / European project (NIST/CIMOSA) exploring Enterprise Modelling and Integration. He has undertaken a lead role on an ESPRIT project involving Helsinki University of Technology (HUT), GKN Westland Aerospace and Nokia and has been responsible for leading the coordination and integration of a European Social Fund (ESF) project in collaboration with the University of Padova and University Paris Sud. Andi has obtained financial support for research and consultancy from organizations in both the private and public sector. He has worked with the Rural Payments Agency alongside SERCO, collaborating with DEFRA, PWC, Deloitte, and Gartner Consulting. He is currently working on four projects as well as continuing his conceptual work on systems design and operational contexts:


  • Business Models: fast tracking competitive advantage, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Research Seminar Competition, £28,866. (with UWE, Aston, Henley, Lancaster, Strathclyde, Warwick)


  • Mer-Innovate: E-maintenance of turbines and the use of high technology electronics, software and devices to support the growth of renewable Marine Energies, Interreg – Europe Regional Development Fund, Total value €1.38m, Exeter €250,232 (Awarded 2013)  
  • A Standards-Driven Approach for Integrated Systems Modelling of Food Banks. RCUK DE Programme: New Economic Models in the Digital Economy, £6,000.
  • Evaluating Patient Experience: an approach using Text Analytics, South West Innovation Voucher Scheme, ERDF South West Competitiveness Programme, £10,000

Previous Awards:


  • Rural Payments Agency (RPA), A systems perspective on single payment scheme (SPS) operations and processes, £247,500, (Awarded 2009)


  • NHS South West, NHS Collaborative Research Project, £255,565 (Awarded 2008)
  • Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP006833), Performance Improvement through the enhancement of information management and a knowledge-based capability, £248,160 (Awarded 2008) – in collaboration with Graphic PLC


  • ESRC/Dti Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), The development of enhanced income streams through CRM and process management to fund free palliative care for terminally ill patients. £112,800 (Awarded 2007) - in collaboration with Hospiscare


  • Lloyds/TSB, Process Maturity and Customer Satisfaction, £10,000 (2006).
  • Knowledge Exploitation South West 2, Programme for Strategic Process Education and Training (PROSPECT), £90,000 (2006)


  • Arson Task Force (ATF), Impact analysis of ATF on arson reduction, £10,000 (2004)
  • Engineering Employers Federation (EEF), Strategic business performance improvement for the Advanced Engineering sector, £50,000 (2004)
  • Microsoft UK, Business Process Management in the Telecommunications Sector, £37,000 (2004)


  • Lloyds/TSB, Business Process Management in the Financial Services Sector, Research Studentship, £68,000 (2002)


  • EPSRC GR/N28923/01 Manufacturing Infrastructure Development for the Aerospace Industry (MIDAS), grant value £117,340.(2001)


  • HEFCE Non-Formula Research project in collaboration with the University of Cambridge, Manufacturing Engineering Group entitled: PACTS, £80,000 (1997)
  • EPSRC GR/L41479 - A methodology for re-engineering business processes. Awarded Alpha 4 grade by EPSRC. £300,000 (1997)


  • ESPRIT project entitled: User Navigated Computerised Learning Environment (UNCLE), Domain 7 - Technologies for Business Processes (Task 7.15 Business Methodologies and Measurements), 800,000 ECU. (1996)
  • ESF ADAPT project entitled: Developing SME Capabilities to Enhance Organisational Learning and Competitiveness (DO), £1,070,430. (1996)

External positions

Andi has undertaken a number of external roles. Recently he has served as an External Advisor on two Professorial Appointment Panels at the University of York, and the appointment panel (Reader) at Loughborough University. He is also currently the Academic Lead on the EurOMA Service Operations Management Forum. He is Guest Editor for a special issue on Information-Centric Operations Management for the International Journal of Operations and Production Management.

Previous responsibilities include:

  • Board Member - European Operations Management Association (EurOMA) [2006- 2011]
  • External Examiner - University of Glasgow – External Examiner [2007 – 2011]
  • Lead Academic and Founder – EurOMA Service Operations Forum [2008 - present]
  • Co-Editor – International Journal of Operations and Production Management [2009-2013]
  • Advanced Institute of Management (AIM) Scholar
  • Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Trust - Honorary Research Fellow
  • Visiting Professor – Centro Universitario Di Organizzazione Aziendale (CUOA), University of Padova. (Ranked in Top 5 of International Faculty)
  • Visiting Professor – Athens Laboratory for Business Administration (ALBA)
  • Visiting Professor - Chalmers University of Technology

Andi serves on a number of scientific committees at annual conferences each year and has been a reviewer for a number of different research councils and journals.

Since joining Exeter in 1998 Andi has developed the curricula for a number of courses. He currently teaches a large undergraduate course on Operations Management and a specialist Masters level course on Service Operations and Marketing. He was nominated for best research led lecturer in 2014. In addition he has established post-graduate courses for the MBA, MSc and MA degrees. He has been module co-ordinator for courses on Change Management, Strategy, Service Management, and Process Management. To facilitate the course on process management Andi secured sponsorship for a laboratory of Enterprise Process Management tools from Corel/iGrafx. He is currently engaged with IBM exploring tools to support new courses in Business Analytics.

Andi has also delivered courses at ALBA, Greece, at CUOA, Italy, (where he has been ranked in the top five of the International Faculty), and Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. In addition to the design and delivery of individual courses, he has served as the Director of the MSc in International Management programme. Andi also has experience in the design and delivery of executive education including the development of a modular programme for Britannia Building Society and South West Water.