CRAFiC works with organisations, policy makers, funding bodies, and others to advance the understanding of accounting and finance research and its relevance for society at large.


CRAFiC has a strong reputation for its research impact and engagement. Our work has been funded by bodies such as the ESRC, the British Academy, Department for Transport (DfT), Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and Chartered Institute of Management Accounting (CIMA). In all instances CRAFiC seeks to advance both knowledge and professional practice. We have been a prolific producer of impact case studies for the Research Exercise Framework; including two submitted this year:

Reverse Logistics Impact Case Study

Team – CRAFiC (Professor John Cullen; Dr Juliana Meira); OMDS Logistics & Supply Chain Management (Dr Erica Ballantyne); Cranfield School of Management (Associate Professor Mike Bernon) and Sheffield Business School (Dr Jonathan Gorst)

Our highly valued co-produced interventionist research has enabled the team to make significant impacts on the practice of reverse logistics and the management of returns through engagement with retailers, logistics providers and manufacturers both in the UK and globally. Our collaborative project goes back to 2005, and in 2008 we produced the first edition of the Reverse Logistics Toolkit. We have since updated it (2018) to particularly take into account the emergence of omni-channel retailing and the implications for reverse logistics operations in retailing. Our focus is specifically on the management of retail returns and the associated activities throughout the whole supply chain. Our objectives are to enhance profitability, customer service and competitor positioning through the supply chain. As well as improving the management and efficiency of processing returns within and across organisations, we also recognise the current challenges arising out of the growth in e-commerce. The recent Covid-19 virus has highlighted new challenges and opportunities for managing customer returns in both traditional and omni-channel retail environments.

Our updated 2018 Reverse Logistics diagnostic toolkit has been created through continuous dialogue with companies in the retail, manufacturing and logistics sectors over many years. It enables organisations to self diagnose the current state of their reverse logistics operations and identifies ways in which they can improve performance in this area which has become increasingly recognised as crucial in terms of profitability, customer service and competitor positioning. By comparing the performance of an organisation against the best practice statements incorporated within the toolkit, an organisation can produce a traffic light style analysis of their current performance and then work on ways to improve. Many organisations, rather than just undertaking the diagnostic exercise on their own, have chosen to bring in the expertise of our team to work alongside them to perform a specific diagnostic analysis and to identify ways of improving their reverse logistics processes.

The reverse logistics website is: and this contains more detail about our work.

Supply chain accounting and employment practices in the rising economies: global commodity chains, cost effectiveness and competitiveness

Project funded by The ESRC

Members: Prof Pauline Dibben, Prof John Cullen and Dr Juliana Meira

The Supply Chain Accounting and Employment Practices (SCA-Emp) project which is led by Professor Pauline Dibben (Centre for Decent Work, SUMS) aims at balancing people and profit. The project focuses on utilising supply chain accounting to improve employment practices across the supply chain. The SCA-Emp research team includes academics and practitioners from the UK, South Africa and Brazil. The team has developed a business diagnostic SCA-Emp Toolkit. To access the Excel version of the free toolkit (in English, Portuguese or Amharic), please contact Professor Pauline Dibben ( or Dr Juliana Meira ( The toolkit is a result of co-production with practitioners from professional bodies including CIMA and CIPD and various companies in Brazil, South Africa and UK, including some large multinational organisations. Companies and organisations worldwide have been utilising the SCA-Emp Toolkit successfully. The use of the toolkit has led to increased transparency and knowledge transfer across supply chains, resulting in improvements in competitiveness, productivity and profits, and most importantly, better labour standards for companies and their suppliers. The whole issue of the importance of supply chain transparency has been highlighted by the current Covid-19 pandemic and the SCA-Emp diagnostic toolkit can be used to address concerns relating to labour standards through the supply chain.

The main benefits of the SCA-Emp Toolkit are: 

  • Impact on the bottom line
  • Increased competitiveness
  • Socially responsible, ethical business practices
  • Easy-to-use design
  • Reputational benefits. 

The SCA-Emp was an ESRC-funded research project led by Sheffield University Management School (ESRC Grant reference: ES/K006452/1). This three-year project focused on exploring the current role and future potential, of supply chain accounting in facilitating complementary HR practices and improved labour standards within the automotive and textile industries in Brazil and South Africa.