OPS Rules Blog: Insights into Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

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

How Retail Supply Chain Analytics Will Set You Apart

Posted by Dinesh Natarajan on Wed, Dec 02, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Dinesh Natarajan, Jeff Keene & Haresh Gopalan

Retail is an industry that is in a constant state of entropy. Increasing competition, high customer expectations, multiple channels and a wide array of product offerings are just a few of many examples that constitute a dynamic environment in the retail industry. As the population and the choices they are given continues to grow, the retailer will continue to see more complex challenges. To stay competitive, retailers must take an analytical approach to better understand their business and anticipate customer behavior.

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Tags: Forecasting, Price optimization

The Emergence of eCommerce in India

Posted by Nipun Mundoor on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 @ 02:02 PM

By Nipun Mundoor and Dinesh Natarajan.

With Thanksgiving around the corner and shopping frenzy reaching fever pitch, targeted ads for slashed prices are a ubiquitous online presence. US markets are gearing up for the start of the busiest shopping season of the year. Online shopping continues to gain share of the total discretionary retail in China, the US and other countries. Capitalizing on these trends Amazon, the largest online retailer in the country posted an anomalous annual profit. More recently Alibaba netted in a staggering $14.3 billion on singles day in the largest online retail promotion in the world. With these two markets approaching maturity rapidly, e-retailers are looking at India as the next target with the top ones engaged in a tough competition.

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Tags: Price optimization

Supply Chain Challenges in Space Exploration

Posted by Haresh Gopalan on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Haresh Gopalan, Nipun Mundoor and Dinesh Natarajan.

The idea to write about supply chain for space exploration came about while watching the recent release of the movie The Martian. The premise of the movie is quite simple – an astronaut, Mark Watney, is stranded on Mars and the entire human race comes together, while pouring billions of dollars into the resources, in an effort to bring him back home.

In short, this involves mobilizing the largest supply chain known to mankind. The global space economy is worth $300 Billion and employs more than 100 thousand people. With the advent of private players such as SpaceX and the entry of countries such as India and China rapidly expanding their exploration capabilities, the possibility of colonization of the Moon and Mars by 2040 is an imminent reality. Sustainable space exploration will require a proactive and highly responsive supply chain.

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Tags: Supply Chain Design

The Three Most Commonly Used Regression Models

Posted by Billy Hou on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

Regression analysis is a statistical process for estimating the relationships among variables. It includes many techniques for modeling and analyzing several variables, when the focus is on the relationship between a dependent variable and one or more independent variables (predictors). More specifically, regression analysis helps one understand how the typical value of the dependent variable changes when any one of the independent variables is varied, while the other independent variables are held fixed. 

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Tags: Forecasting

Five Reasons why Consumerization and Personalization should matter to every B2B CEO

Posted by Mike Romeri on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Consumer Brands and Retailers are working hard to meet consumer expectations who expect to collaborate seamlessly with them whether on-line or off-line and expect to receive the same price offers whenever and wherever they want to buy.  Every Business-to-Business(B2B) buyer is also a consumer, and increasingly B2B buyers will prefer the convenience consumerization offers when he or she interacts with consumer brands.  Furthermore, offering B2B personalization will allow B2B suppliers to achieve consistent situational pricing on-line and off-line and strengthen strategic control over the end-to-end customer sales and pricing process.

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Tags: Price optimization

Quick wins with Price Optimization

Posted by Haresh Gopalan on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 @ 11:38 AM

  • By Haresh Gopalan and Billy Hou

    In today’s crowded market place, with shrinking margins and ever expanding product variety, retailers are determined to turn every stone in order to achieve their profitability objective. Instead of looking at the product related information and carrying out supply chain related cost reductions, we recommend focusing on customer behavior around a product and fine tuning the price. 

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Tags: Forecasting, Price optimization