OPS Rules Blog: Insights into Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

Price Optimization at B2W Digital

Posted by Edith Simchi-Levi on Thu, May 19, 2016 @ 08:25 AM

In a recent MIT Sloan webinar titled The New Frontier in Price Optimization  , OPS Rules Chairman David Simchi-Levi introduced several recent examples of new methods that improve business performance. One of them was B2W Digital , the leading e-commerce company in Latin America with whom OPS Rules worked last year on implementing price optimization.
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Tags: Price optimization

What's next for S&OP?

Posted by Mike Romeri on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

By Jay Jayaraman, Dinesh Natarajan, Mike Romeri and Tom Zych

Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) is a process that has been deployed primarily to align different functions around the best plan they could identify, working together as collaboratively as possible.  Many standard and emerging analytic techniques can be employed to supercharge performance and optimize S&OP decision making. 

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Tags: Supply chain analytics, S&OP

The biggest challenge in Retail Analytics

Posted by Neil Fernandes on Mon, Apr 04, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

By Neil Fernandes and Sumeet Mahajan

In our recent white papers on Retail Analytics, we discussed how advanced analytics is being applied successfully in the retail industry. We received a lot of feedback and questions from our readers, especially around dynamic pricing. The most common theme in these questions was what is the biggest challenges that they would face during a dynamic pricing implementation? 

Our experience working on retail analytics projects tells us that data preparation is the longest step in almost all projects, and also one of the biggest challenges for a pricing project.  Some of you would argue that building or testing models is the hardest step. But more often than not, it is the data preparation phase that takes the longest time, is resource intensive and forms the foundation of the type of meaningful algorithms that can be built.

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Tags: Data, retail analytics, dynamic pricing

Dynamic Pricing: A Major Key to Retail Success

Posted by Sumeet Mahajan on Mon, Mar 21, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

By Sumeet Mahajan and Neil Fernandes

Retailers are busy implementing various new analytic approaches, from advanced forecasting to complex markdown techniques, as we discussed in Analytics Opportunities for Success in Retail. But one approach that has been gaining the most attention of top retailers is dynamic pricing, also known as price optimization. And it is easy to understand why. There is no data-driven approach, today, that can have such a direct and significant impact on a retailer’s profitability as dynamic pricing. With that interest, and urgency, in mind, we discuss the type of executive and technical preparation required for a successful dynamic pricing initiative, detailed in Dynamic Pricing for Online Retail.

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Tags: Price optimization, retail analytics, dynamic pricing

Moneyball Revisited: Are you ready for Analytics?

Posted by Tim Kachur on Wed, Mar 16, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

The beginning of March also signals the start of preseason exhibition games of Major League Baseball, known as Spring Training, in winter-free Florida and Arizona.  March also brings around one of the most famous analytics events: the Sloan/MIT Sports Analytics Conference.  When it was first held 10 years ago, nearly all the content focused on baseball. This is understandable; the sport has a special place in the hearts of those inclined towards math and numbers. Children for decades have collected baseball cards, a pocket sized paper database of key statistics of their favorite major league players. The game is easily the most data friendly sport. Businesses would be thrilled to have this level of data capture - hundreds of discrete events per game - and a long history of accurate data, from over 2,000 games a year for over a century. When computing power exploded in the 1990s, it was no surprise that Major League Baseball became the vanguard of analytics in sports.    

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Tags: Analytics, Supply chain analytics, retail analytics

Analytics Opportunities for Success in Retail

Posted by Dinesh Natarajan on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

By Dinesh Natarajan, Sumeet Mahajan, Haresh Gopalan

Analytics in retail has never been more important. Success is intricately tied to technological advancement that enables serving customers better at a lower cost. Every retailer is in a race against time and its competition to leverage data for significant revenue and profit growth. In this white paper, we will discuss different analytic approaches from advanced forecasting to markdowns, and their impact on the bottom line.

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Tags: Price optimization, eCommerce, retail analytics

The Difference between Data Science and Statistics

Posted by Billy Hou on Fri, Jan 15, 2016 @ 07:00 AM

I recently ran across a few interesting posts on LinkedIn and Twitter on the topic of data science and statistics, such as the ones below. While I found these posts funny and amusing, they reveal the general lack of understanding of the difference between data science and statistics. 



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Tags: Analytics, Data

Popular OPS Rules Blogs of 2015

Posted by Edith Simchi-Levi on Tue, Jan 05, 2016 @ 07:00 AM


Our team has been busy with cutting-edge supply chain and operations analytics projects in 2015. These experiences have been reflected on our blogs and have been well received by readers. They cover a wide range of operations topics that OPS Rules engages in with clients including price optimization, multi echelon inventory, network design and segmentation.  The industries we work with range from eCommerce/retail, CPG, medical devices to industrial.

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Tags: Analytics

Price Optimization Beyond the Base Phase

Posted by Mark Wahl on Fri, Dec 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Mark Wahl and Neil Fernandes

Retail and online sellers are dealing with a complex environment of competition while at the same time managing their own multi-channel environment.  These companies are already lean so there is not much room to cut costs. Therefore, the ability to increase revenue and improve margins through an advanced price optimization process can make a huge difference in their business. 



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Tags: Price optimization

Three Ideas to Improve Medical Device Supply Chains

Posted by Zhiheng Ivan Xu on Fri, Dec 11, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Ivan Xu and Jeff Keene

Medical device companies are in transition. Traditionally, this industry has not focused on supply chain management because high margins masked the need to address inefficiencies. Now, however, tighter healthcare budgets in Europe and the US require lower cost products. As global economic growth drives more complex product portfolios and expanded global networks, companies face new challenges including lower visibility to local facilities.


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Tags: Inventory Optimization, Supply Chain Segmentation, Price optimization