OPS Rules Blog: Insights into Supply Chain and Operations Strategy

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

Three Steps towards Price Optimization Success

Posted by Edith Simchi-Levi on Thu, Nov 05, 2015 @ 09:19 AM


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 a more technologically advanced price optimization process can make a huge difference in their business. This is sometimes called dynamic pricing, defined as “Where businesses set flexible prices for products or services based on current market demands.”



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Tags: Price optimization

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