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Center for Supply Networks and Analytics
Excellence in research and education in supply chain management and business analytics.
The Center for Supply Networks and Analytics is a newly formed center of excellence dedicated to research and education in the fields of supply chain management and business analytics. The mission of the Center is to be a leading source of knowledge creation and dissemination in supply chain and analytics.
The Center’s research activities and agenda seek to enhance the body of knowledge related to all major facets of supply chain management and business analytics. These activities culminate in insights targeted at both academic and managerial audiences. The Center will become a premier destination for expertise, in particular for the technology-intensive and advanced manufacturing firms that are central to the ambitions of Rensselaer.
Abstract: On-demand platforms, exemplified by companies like Uber and Lyft, are a disruptive business model. Requests (e.g., a ride, a delivery) are fulfilled by matching independent suppliers (e.g., freelance logistics providers) with demand requests. Current centralized approaches to platform design excel at meeting demand commitments, but limit supplier autonomy. Decentralized approaches provide supplier autonomy, but sacrifice systematic performance and are time consuming. This research proposes a new hierarchical approach, recasting the platform's role as one providing personalized recommendations (i.e., a menu of multiple requests) to suppliers. Supplier choice can increase participation (capacity) and resource utilization when request fulfillment is combined with suppliers' original planned tasks. However, supplier choice also makes task allocation more complicated, requiring new methods to determine which requests and how many to recommend, as well as strategies to mitigate outcomes of supplier choice (e.g., rejections, duplicate selections). We consider how to design and operate a platform that first must decide how multiple, simultaneous recommendations are made. Then, suppliers have autonomy to select requests (if any) from the personalized recommendations. This results in some requests not selected and others with duplicate selections. The platform determines recourse actions for these requests, which may be fulfilling rejected requests using platform resources or recommending them to another supplier. To guide design questions and to quantify the impact of supplier choice on platform efficiency, effectiveness, and equity, we create a bi-level optimization framework. These models are novel as they capture the interdependent outcomes of supplier selections. Able to solve large problems reasonably quickly, we use this framework to answer the open research question: when is supplier choice beneficial? Applications of this approach to crowdsourced delivery, ride sharing, and on-demand volunteer platforms are explored.
September 18, 2019 - "Smart Manufacturing Enabled Connected Supply Chain" - Watch the Video
Speaker: Michelle Pastel, Sr. Manager, Industry 4.0
Abstract: Smart Manufacturing provides real-time insights and decision making through the integration of advanced sensing, process controls, modeling, analytics, and computing platforms to speed up development, improve product and process performance, and lower cost within a plant, plant to plant, and across the supply chain. Digitally connected supply chains expand the set of data that can be used to achieve new performance improvements and expands the definition of supply chain management. This talk will share how a data-centric open platform can provide deep insights for a business and its eco-system while outlining some of the change management necessary to achieve a new level of business performance and new value streams.
April 26, 2019 - Industry Speaker Session "What is Smart Manufacturing and Industry 4.0 and how will they affect the Supply Chain?" and Capstone Project Poster Presentations - Watch the Video
Speaker: Jim Wetzel, Strategic Advisor, Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute
Abstract: This presentation and discussion will review how the concepts of Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing were created and how Smart Manufacturing grew into a Manufacturing USA National Innovation Institute. Numerous case studies will be reviewed highlighting how the principles/technologies adds value and can dramatically impact the overall Supply Chain. These examples come from fortune 500 companies that are early adopters of the Smart Manufacturing technology and culture. Topics that will be discussed include designing a demand driven Supply Chain, the connected Supply Chain and data driven decision making. In addition an update on the progress of the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute will be reviewed.
March 27, 2019 - "What if the Supply Chain was Reimagined for Today!" - Watch the Video
Speaker: Sasha Pailet Koff, Sr. Director of Supply Chain Digital Strategy & Innovation, Johnson & Johnson
Abstract: This talk will provide insights into what matters most, the expectations of the customer, where digital capabilities are driving transformational wins and key lessons learned by supply chain leaders as they bring their respective companies along the digital journey. Drawing from J&J’s digital transformation efforts, the talk will highlight how to drive value through digital transformation.
Speaker: Chandra Narayanaswami, PhD, Principal Research Staff Member, IBM TJ Watson Research Center
Abstract: Increasing globalization, eCommerce usage and social awareness is leading to consumers demanding variety, value, convenience, immediacy, verifiable authenticity and provenance, ethical materials sourcing & manufacturing, regulatory compliance, and services after sales. Fulfilling this increased complexity of consumer demand has required, supply chains to evolve into multi-enterprise networks with numerous flow paths in production, merchandising, and fulfillment involving many organizational/institutional handoffs, to effectively manage a large number of complex products with shorter life cycles, and high transaction volumes.
In this talk Dr. Chandra Narayanaswami will use the above lens to describe why Blockchains are fundamentally changing the landscape of transactions, through examples in food safety and provenance, ocean freight logistics, maintenance and repair operations, asset management and tracking, and financial settlements.
October 31, 2018 - "Water water everywhere, nor any drop to drink!": Applying Supply Chain and Data Analytics Teachings in Business Applications - Watch the Video
Speaker: Paul Testa, Head of Global Supply Chain, Shire
Abstract: Supply Chains are complex processes that can span multiple geographies, companies, organizations, and industries. They are now expected to achieve higher levels of performance than ever before.
Business (Supply Chain) data is more plentiful now than ever before. This data can allow Supply Chain leaders to master the complexities and expectations of today, while anticipating the needs of tomorrow.
Unfortunately, the data alone is not enough! What we need is INFORMATION! Without Business Analytics, we drown in our data instead of floating on our streams of life-supporting information! In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, Samuel Taylor Coleridge describes a situation of too much of the wrong kind of water that is similar to many Supply Chain professionals today.
During this presentation, Paul Testa shared his practical learnings regarding Supply Chain data, analytics, information, and merger/acquisition integrations.
Speaker: Stephen Meyer, Research Director, Supply Chain, Gartner Inc.
Abstract: What does the term "digital supply chain" mean for manufacturing companies? Using Gartner's digital supply chain maturity model as a backdrop, examples of digital supply chains in practice today will be shared, along with how companies are leveraging digital technology to make their supply chains faster, more efficient and more aligned to the needs of their customers. Gartner survey data will be shared to show where supply chains are making their investments in new technology and the benefits they expect to reap.
Panelists: Graham Giller, Head of Primary Research, Deutsche Bank; Yuri Malitsky, Data Scientist, Morgan Stanley; Rick Tacelli, VP Customer Development, Empirical Systems
Summary: Digitization and artificial intelligence are transforming businesses in very fundamental ways. Disruption from AI is already here, but many managers are not clear how to harness AI and how it might impact their organizations and industries. Creating effective strategies to harness the many opportunities offered by AI are critical for business executives. This panel discussion will feature executives who are at the forefront of deploying and using AI successfully in their organizations. Panelists share their experience in deriving business value from AI, managing the organizational change brought upon by AI, and overcoming key challenges on their way to success.
February 22, 2017 - Watch Video - “Supply Chain Risk Insights Powered By Watson"
Speakers: Tom Ward ’86, Cloud and Cognitive Strategist, Enterprise Services, IBM, and Rahul Nahar, Senior Technical Staff Member, Enterprise Services Analytics, Architecture, and Strategy, IBM
Summary: Managing global supply chains can be a risky business. The race for leaner supply chains has placed supply chain sites and suppliers in some unstable regions of the world. How do supply chain leaders know when to take costly risk mitigating actions to recover from the impact of a natural event (ie. a hurricane or earthquake) and when can they simply take caution, but no action?
November 30, 2016 - Watch Video - “Supply Chain 2.0: Supply Chain for a New Age”
Speaker: Jay Nearnberg ’77, Supply Chain Consulting Manager, Accenture
Summary: This talk highlights a blueprint of the next generation of supply chains that will drive a company’s business—breaking down functional silos, redefining priorities, and building synchronized planning and fulfillment capabilities. Companies must have strong foundational components to compete—customer-driven supply chains, an integrated supply chain operating model, performance management, and supply chain segmentation strategies.
October 26, 2016 - “On-Demand Warehousing and Logistics”
Speaker: Jennifer Pazour, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Summary: On-demand businesses use internet-based platforms to provide wide-reach visibility into untapped resource capacity. This has the potential to increase resource visibility, utilization, accessibility, and flexibility. We explore the competitive landscape and characteristics of on-demand warehousing and logistics systems, as well as compare and contrast on-demand business models with traditional models.
September 29, 2016 - “Wine Analytics: Fine Wine Pricing and Selection Under Weather and Market Uncertainty”
Speaker: M. Hakan Hekimoglu, Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
Summary: This talk examines research that shows that a wine distributor should always invest in wine futures because it increases the expected profit despite being a riskier asset than bottled wine. The study empirically demonstrates the financial benefits from using this model for a large distributor.
February 17, 2016 - Watch Video - “Developing and Managing Effective Global Supply Chains”
Speaker: Dan Ostrosky ’90, Vice President of Supply Chain Management, Triumph Group
Summary: In competitive business environments effective management of global supply chains is critical for firm success. This talk will focus on strategies for building and managing global supply chains to support a network of diverse manufacturing operations. Topics will include: global sourcing strategies, lean supply chain methods, and relationship and category management practices that lead to optimizing total landed costs.
November 18, 2015 - Watch Video - “The Impact of New Product Development and Innovation on Supply Chain Management”
Speaker: Lindsey Rappleyea ’13, New Product Development Engineer, W. L. Gore & Associates
October 21, 2015 Video - Watch Video - “Confidence in Chaos: Fortifying Supply Chain Business Continuity Capabilities in an Evolving Risk Landscape”
Speaker: Jodie Wright ’10, Senior Associate, Information Protection and Business Resilience Practice, KPMG
September 23, 2015 - Watch Video - “Integrating Physical and Digital Supply Chains: A Cross-Industry Perspective”
Speaker: Peter Vanderminden ’78, Senior Industry Analyst, IoT and Digital Supply Chain, Flatiron Strategies
Center for Supply Networks and Analytics
- T. Ravichandran, Associate Dean of Research, Irene and Robert ’55 Bozzone Distinguished Professor, Academic Director of M.S. Supply Chain Management Program, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- M. Hakan Hekimoglu, Assistant Professor, Supply Chain Management and Business Analytics, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- Jason Kuruzovich, Academic Director of the Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship, Associate Professor, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- Nishtha Langer, Assistant Professor, Business Analytics, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- Chris McDermott, Associate Professor, Operations Management and Healthcare Management, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- Dorit Nevo, Associate Professor, Academic Director of M.S. Business Analytics Program, Rensselaer Lally School of Management
- Jennifer Pazour, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Thomas C. Sharkey, Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Wei Xie, Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The Center works in conjunction with faculty members from various academic areas to conduct research in areas such as:
- Operations and supply chain strategy
- Agile supply networks
- Governance of supply networks
- Performance optimization through analytics
- Global sourcing
- Supply network resilience
- Analytics readiness and maturity assessment
- Social media analytics
More information coming soon.