Research Spotlight

Technology in decision making and its impact on supply chains

The fifth ISB-POMS Workshop held at the ISB Hyderabad campus on December 14-15, 2017 focused on the applications of technology to decision making and its impact on supply chain performance. 

The keynote address, “Research in Production and Operations Management in the Era of Big Data”, by Professor George Shanthikumar, Richard E. Dauch Chair of Manufacturing and Operations Management at the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University, set the tone for the workshop. The keynote highlighted two trends in big data that are relevant for Operations Management (OM): the vast amounts of personalised data that is being collected through various devices and the potential for monetization of such data by organisations. The talk stressed how classic models used in OM research should be recast to take into account these trends in big data, using the newsvendor and machine maintenance problems in the presence of personalised data.

The second keynote address by Professor John Birge, Jerry W. and Carol Lee Levin Distinguished Professor of Operations Management at Booth School of Business, University of Chicago, shed light on dynamic learning in strategic pricing games. In the context of pricing new products, the talk illustrated how being willfully ignorant about full market information and not experimenting with prices can be beneficial in the presence of competition. These findings guide the pricing of digital goods and pharmaceutical products when market information is not fully known.

In addition to the keynote addresses, various researchers presented their research related to the impact of technology and big data in supply chains. These talks included methodological and analytical models that illustrated the development of new algorithms to overcome the challenge of sales forecasting for new products, optimal pricing in innovative business models such as shared ride services and digital content delivery. On the empirical front, a study presented at the workshop used transaction data to quantify the impact of using technology such as biometric authentication in monitoring the performance of public sector supply chains. Another talk used laboratory and field experiments to understand how cognitive load affects the adoption of energy efficient practices in organisations when they are presented with precise information about costs and savings as opposed to estimates that are round figures.

The conference served as an apt platform for researchers to discuss and deliberate new research developments in the field along with the practical implications they carry. The full list of presentations can be accessed here