OPS Rules Blog: Insights into Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

Data Aggregation drives Supply Chain Strategy

Posted by Haresh Gopalan on Mon, Oct 12, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Haresh Gopalan, Dinesh Natarajan and Nipun Mundoor.         

 Every Company has a vision for the future.  Realizing the vision requires a series of clear steps, a roadmap from current state to the future state. To traverse the road to the future, you must leverage your current core competencies to offset your shortcomings and develop business strategies by analyzing the industry framework, competitive landscape, the interrelation between supply chain processes and cost-benefit tradeoffs. To understand all of the above mentioned factors and realize the vision, we need to analyze the existing network to see what is working and what is not. Network Design Modeling helps in opening two locks with one key, you can come up with the strategies by analyzing the current state as well as the coordinate the supply chain processes to realize those strategies.

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Tags: Network Design

Analytics and the Internet of Things

Posted by Edith Simchi-Levi on Thu, Oct 08, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a hot topic. As Wired phrases it:

The Internet of Things revolves around increased machine-to-machine communication; it’s built on cloud computing and networks of data-gathering sensors; it’s mobile, virtual, and instantaneous connection; and they say it’s going to make everything in our lives from streetlights to seaports “smart.”

IoT is expected to revolutionize many industries from home automation, healthcare, driving and of course manufacturing. In this area applications include: asset tracking, production monitoring and improved ability to detect and predict errors for equipment maintenance.




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Tags: Analytics, Internet of Things

Pumpkin Spice Latte and Postponement

Posted by Tim Kachur on Thu, Oct 01, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

With September’s arrival, come thoughts of cooler weather, the return of football, and kids going back to school.  There is one new sure sign of the upcoming autumnal equinox: pumpkin.  The multiplicity of pumpkin flavored muffins, ice cream, and beer can be consumed while enjoying the aroma of your pumpkin-scented candle.  This recent explosion can be traced back to the phenomenon that arguably started it all: The Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte.   It is the best-selling drink in Starbucks’ stable, and has over 100,000 Twitter followers. And I admit I that  am among the millions of consumers who cannot resist the spiced-up latte every fall.



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Tags: Inventory Optimization, Postponement

Omni-channel and supply chain strategy

Posted by Nipun Mundoor on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

  • By Nipun Mundoor & Dinesh Natarajan

The growth of internet-enabled commerce, mobile devices and social networks has led companies to be more digitally driven since the turn of the century. The symbiotic interaction of mobile devices, cloud services and big data analytics is allowing companies to adopt the omni-channel: a multichannel approach to sales that seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience whether the customer is shopping online from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone or in a brick and mortar store.

Image Source: SCDigest from webinar "Conquering the Omni-channel Challenge"

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Tags: Inventory Optimization, Supply Chain Segmentation, Supply Chain Strategy, Network Design

5 Questions you can answer with Network Design

Posted by Haresh Gopalan on Tue, Sep 15, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Haresh Gopalan, Dinesh Natarajan & Jeff keene

The supply chain of an organization is an overarching structure that encompasses the suppliers, plants, warehouses, and flows of products from their origin to a customer’s location. While the network in itself is complex, the degree of complexity only increases when various business functions of a company have different expectations of the same network. Executive A’s main objective would be to reduce transportation costs but Executive B might want to increase customer service level, which might increase transportation costs! 

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Tags: Supply chain analytics, Network Design

China slowdown and your supply chain strategy

Posted by Edith Simchi-Levi on Fri, Sep 11, 2015 @ 07:30 AM

In a recent HBR piece, You Can’t Understand China’s Slowdown Without Understanding Supply Chains, David Simchi-Levi describes how the current slowdown in China is partly related to the decision by companies in recent years to move production closer to their markets. So for the US market, they would typically move to Mexico, for Western Europe to Eastern Europe etc. This is related to various factors such as higher labor costs, increased risk, changes in oil price etc.




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Tags: Analytics, Supply Chain Design, Supply Chain Strategy, supply chain risk

Get an Edge in Fantasy Football with Analytics  

Posted by Derek Nelson on Wed, Sep 09, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

The NFL season starts tomorrow tonight.  Like millions of others, I enjoy playing fantasy football. For the uninitiated, fantasy football is a game played among groups of friends, family, and strangers where each person selects a group of NFL players to be on their team, and then your team is awarded points based on the performance of those players in the actual games. For example, your team will gain points if players on your team score touchdowns, rush/pass for yards, etc.  

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Tags: Analytics

Optimize your supply chain Bullwhip effect

Posted by Mark Wahl on Mon, Aug 31, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

By Mark Wahl and Jeff Keene

Supply chain professionals are quite familiar with the concepts of both  Multi Echelon Inventory Optimization (MEIO) and the Bullwhip Effect, but the relationship between the two is rarely discussed. We would like to introduce some ideas around another type of analysis - "optimizing a supply chain with respect to the bullwhip effect."

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Tags: inventory, Bullwhip effect

Enhancing Supply Chain Performance with KPPs

Posted by Sumeet Mahajan on Thu, Aug 20, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

By Sumeet Mahajan and Dinesh Natarajan

A recent study by Aberdeen Group explored best-in-class practices amongst companies applying advanced analytics for strategic sourcing. The study found that amongst these companies the best-in-class have twice the amount of savings than low performers, and an on-time delivery that is 40% better than competition. The report ratified a trend where increasing number of companies are looking to move away from descriptive analytics alone, and towards predictive and prescriptive analytics during both the planning and the execution phase.

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Tags: Analytics

Better forecasts start with understanding Traffic

Posted by Neil Fernandes on Mon, Aug 10, 2015 @ 08:00 AM

    By Neil Fernandes and Sumeet Mahajan. 
    If you belong to industries such as retail, car and equipment rentals, hotels, airlines, etc., that deal with very limited point-of-sale inventory, then read on to see how something that you do almost on a daily basis can be done a lot more efficiently and effectively. If you are not from any of the industries above but rather belong to more traditional industries such as manufacturing, then you too should read on to consider a whole different way of looking at demand forecasts.


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Tags: Analytics, Forecasting