Our faculty explore many themes within operations management: supply chain management, service and retail operations, healthcare operations, sustainable operations, human behavior and operations, humanitarian and socially responsible operations, and energy resource management.
This area examines the flow of goods and services, the movement and storage of raw materials, of work-in-process inventory, and of finished goods from point of origin to point of consumption. Our faculty have explored best practices of demand fulfillment through trans-shipment across a network of stores and distribution centers, which have an impact on customers’ overall shopping experience and the profit of each member of a supply chain. Our faculty also have analyzed the risk of failure points within a supply chain. They are interested in examining organizational, operational and behavioral causes of product recalls. Additionally, they study suppliers' incentives and how financing mechanisms can be used to enhance the efficiency of the chain.
This area examines management principles and theory on designing and managing service and retail operations. Our faculty are interested in analyzing the impact of customers’ behavior on the service quality and in designing service disciplines which improve the performance measure of the systems. Operations in a typical retail supply chain includes ordering, stocking, offering, and delivering thousands of SKUs in hundreds of product categories. Therefore, it is important to understand customer choice among a set of alternatives in a retail environment, where an alternative means not only a product variant itself, but also how it is presented and/or delivered to the customer, which have profound effects on customer choice. Our faculty examine retailers’ assortment-related decisions, and the effectiveness of different omni-channel strategies that provide seamless shopping experience to the customer, whether she is shopping online, from a desktop or mobile device, by telephone, or in a bricks and mortar store.
This area focuses on approaches for achieving operational excellence as one of the important ways of driving down costs of care while maintaining its desired quality. Our faculty have examined aspects such as patient flow within hospitals, hospital staffing, clinical trial design, and pharmaceutical pricing. Their research provides a new adaptive design approach for multi-arm clinical trials such as Phase II/III dose-finding trials. In addition, faculty study the consequences of regulation on healthcare providers to better understand their impact on patients.
This area examines strategies, techniques and operational policies to support economic, environmental and social objectives and goals. Our faculty have examined forward logistics in the chain—that is, procurement of materials, production and distribution—as well as the reverse logistics to collect and process returned products and/or parts of products to ensure socioeconomically and ecologically sustainable recovery in a circular economy. Research by our faculty has also explored strategies and cost implications of carbon footprint reduction for a firm's direct and indirect emissions, including investments in carbon offsets, in a market where some consumers are sensitive to environmental issues.
This area explores human behaviors that underlie operational systems and processes. Our faculty have explored ways in which deviations from rational behaviors impact operational performance (for example, incentives in procurement), and the ways in which operational policies (for example, collaboration/competition) impact behavior.
This area refers to operations that are directed to deal with disasters, focusing on coordinating supplies, information, and finances, which are moved among donors, beneficiaries, suppliers, and humanitarian organizations to provide aid to beneficiaries. Humanitarian operations impact infrastructure, which in turn affects an organization’s profitability and performance. Our faculty have investigated the defining characteristics of humanitarian operations such as funding and donations, equity-efficiency tradeoffs, decentralized decision-making, and last-mile distribution.
This area includes a range of issues in the investment and operations management of energy resources, including conventional and renewable energy resources and energy storage, as well as demand-side resources. Our faculty have studied issues such as investing in and managing intermittent renewable energy resources, storage investment and operations, energy market competition, demand response and energy efficiency investments.