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  • A transportation specialist needs to determine the best plan for shipping the customers’ orders on a daily basis. One important aspect of the decision is knowing the cost of each shipment, based on the their weight, origin-destination, transportation mode (TL, LTL, rail), etc. Now let’s assume you, the transportation specialist, have 100 orders to ship... Read More »
  • We have had some big stretches in our blog posts applying current or historical events to analytics and supply chain concepts (4 Things Nick Saban Can Teach Us About Inventory Planning, anyone?). This one might take the cake. I must have not fully disconnected my mind from work on a recent vacation, but I couldn’t... Read More »
  • Storytelling in Analytics, Part 2

    Andy Fox Jul 11th, 2017
    In this 2-part blog series, we reflect on the Opex Analytics Academy Session, Best Practices in Storytelling and Visualization. Part 1 of the series recapped our first 2 themes in effective analytics storytelling–Keep It Simple and Make It Personal–through frameworks like SCQA. This post dives into tips for the final theme, Deliberate on Visualization. Great... Read More »
  • Storytelling is in the forefront at Opex Analytics this summer! First, we held an Opex Analytics Academy session, where we discussed the importance of storytelling and visualization in analytics. Then, my colleague Alex Banks-Watson posted his blog, The Key to Successful Data Science isn’t the Best Analytics , to prime us on the cadence of... Read More »
  • We had the chance to participate in a group at IRI analyzing the impact of Big Data on R&D. The group included people from Cargill, Kraft (previously), and SRI International. The group also received support from Phillps66, Ingersoll Rand, JM Smucker, TCS, RTI, and Archer Daniels Midland. In this paper, you’ll get a new look... Read More »
  • There was a fantastic article in the Wall Street Journal recently – Wall Street to CEOs: Disrupt Your Industry, or Else. A key message from the article, when Ford’s CEO got fired for not acting fast enough or bold enough in fighting all the Silicon Valley start-ups. “To make things worse for established players, investors... Read More »
  • As previously published in SC Digest. In my class on Operations Excellence, we briefly cover the rise of Toyota and all the innovative operational practices they gave us. In retrospect, we can cite the lessons from Toyota from Lean, to set-up reduction, to variability and waste reduction, and on and on. But, at the time... Read More »
  • With Amazon’s recent announcement of buying Whole Foods, it is worth reviewing some of the supply chain lessons in the late 2013 book The Everything Store. I’ve followed Amazon closely for a few years, and embarrassingly, I missed the 2013 book The Everything Store, until now. The book was a good read. Although it doesn’t... Read More »
  • Is Simple Load Consolidation that Simple?

    Ehsan Khodabandeh PhD Jun 15th, 2017
    Whether we know it or not, at some point we have all dealt with variants of transportation routing problems. Consider a time when you and a group of friends (7 people total) are having dinner and have decided to transition to some drinks at a bar too far to walk to. You all agree to... Read More »
  • As data scientists we love to geek out about the latest and greatest approaches to building complex machine learning models. And that’s great; technical nous and a desire to keep improving our modeling skills is WHY we chose this vocation. But we can’t forget that every successful analytics project must ultimately be shared with a... Read More »
  • Book Review: Stretch

    Alex Banks Watson Jun 5th, 2017
    In Stretch Scott Sonenshein argues that a lack of resources is far less of a handicap than usually thought. Rather, it forces us to take action based on what we have available to us right now, in terms of time frame, budget, workforce, and physical equipment. This is a refreshing concept when the gut response... Read More »
  • Warehouses – What if I need more space?

    Ehsan Khodabandeh PhD Jun 1st, 2017
    Are you an analyst who has never stepped foot in a warehouse? Are you a recent graduate interviewing for your first Supply Chain position? If so, the question “What is the warehouse capacity?” may, at first, seem like a simple calculation of the area within four walls. But as you stop to think further you... Read More »
  • I recently read Ten Simple Rules for Effective Statistical Practice by Kass et al and was inspired to share the article as it elegantly captures a practical philosophy for how best to analyze data. I’ll summarize their rules here and highly recommend reading the the journal article itself. The following 10 rules are directly from... Read More »
  • Kristen Daihes and Mohsen Moarefdoost Ph.D.May 23rd 2017 Welcome Back In our first series of this blog, we talked about the wave of M&A activity and shared 7 examples of how strategic optimization should be explored to support this activity. We also talked about the elusive “size of the prize” as companies go after big... Read More »
  • (Click here for a pdf white paper on service level measures in the supply chain.  The following article is the full text.  This also appeared as a two-part series in Supply Chain Digest.) Purpose of Document This document is meant to help explain different service level measures in the supply chain.  Specifically, we are going... Read More »
  • Kristen Daihes and Mohsen Moarefdoost Ph.D.May 18th 2017 A Wave of M&A Activity It is no surprise we are in another wave of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity with more on the horizon. Across the consumer goods industry alone Unilever stirred up quite the excitement with their acquisition of Dollar Shave Club, more recently the... Read More »
  • Mike Watson recently shared his insights on the impacts of driverless trucks on the network design and supply chain operations (here and here and here). If you are still suspicious about the effects of using self-driving vehicles, there are actually live use cases that can be found within many of the world’s supply chains today.... Read More »
  • Blog Series: Demystifying Data Science

    Austin Haygood Mar 7th, 2017
    Blog Series: Demystifying Data Science If you are like me, you hear terms like machine learning, data mining, algorithms, etc. talked about as needed solutions all the time. For years I would hear these terms and think to myself, “Yeah, I think I know what that means” or “Am I the only person in the... Read More »
  • Peer Bank Recommender

    admin Feb 13th, 2017
    Hari Murakonda and Sanjeevni WanchooFebruary 14th 2017 Introduction If you’ve ever been part of stress testing at a bank, you have probably heard of term “peer banks” often. So who are these peer banks ? Why would a subject bank like to know its peers ? What role do peer banks play in stress testing... Read More »
  • The above picture is one I took while on vacation in Costa Rica.  We were going to a remote beach at the end of a 3-mile pothole and rut-stricken dirt road.  We happened to be following a truck making a delivery.  The truck got stuck by an overhanging tree.  The driver immediately got out, with... Read More »
  • There has been a lot of talk about how driverless trucks may reduce the need for drivers and how will our economy replace these 2 million good blue collar jobs. The same conversation is going on for the larger economy with all the buzz around artificial intelligence. Lots of smart people and deep thinkers are... Read More »
  • I often get asked what organization design construct is most effective in building out analytics capabilities within an organization. In canvassing our client base, all approaches broadly fit into three organization design constructs: centralized, center-led, and de-centralized. Other than the presence of an Analytics COE, there is no common construct in organization design that I... Read More »
  • Book Review: My thoughts on “Shoe Dog”

    Hari Murakonda Jan 26th, 2017
    Shoe Dog, a memoir from Phil Knight, the Founder of Nike, is one of the best books I have read in recent times. From the beginning, the book is filled with gripping and inspiring stories. At the age of 24, having embarked on a world trip, his interpretation of the experiences in the trip was... Read More »
  •   Driverless trucks could have a large impact on the design of your supply chain. Jeff Potts of LeanLogistics wrote a nice blog post that hit on some of these ideas. He gave us a few good insights: Driverless trucks promise to reduce transportation costs by avoiding getting more use from each truck without having... Read More »