OPTSUM 2015: Where SCM meets Science

The second edition of the optimization summit (OptSum) was held amidst a scene of unprecedented enthusiasm in Bangalore on March 10 -11, 2015. The invitation-based event witnessed high brain power with optimization gurus and analytics experts from across supply chain planning, retail, pricing and revenue management coming together from all parts of India.

OptSum blog #1

The event was inaugurated by Salil Joshi, senior vice president of JDA’s global center of excellence, who also welcomed the delegates. Suresh Acharya, vice president of JDA Labs’ optimization team, provided a bird’s eye view of the innovation projects his team is working on, as well as an area of work that the research community can collaborate on to achieve a breakthrough. He also emphasized bridging the gap between planning and execution, which was the theme of the summit.

OptSum blog #2

Three case studies across predictive and prescriptive analytics were discussed by Prof. Dinesh Kumar from IIM Bangalore. One of them explored big data techniques to gather social media insights and transform them into box office collections. Louis-Martin, Professor at École Polytechnique, Montreal, and also a scientific advisor to JDA Labs, illustrated with simple examples how stochastic approaches like chance-constrained, stochastic and robust optimization can be used to overcome uncertainty.

OptSum blog #3

Prof. Manoj Tiwari, from IIT Kharagpur, provided a real-life illustration and explained the exact mathematical formulation of the problem. He also provided a heuristic solution to the truck packaging problem that helps negotiate the number of trucks to be booked for transportation. Ritesh Kapur from Goldratt Consulting mesmerized the audience, convincing them that in the real world there is no real static optimal point, but there is a region which is good enough for the business to be competitive, and that is what retail companies should focus on to achieve results.

Connecting the dots between demand, fulfillment, transportation and warehouse management was the theme for JDA’s Rajiv Bhuta. He also emphasized how customers can move up the value chain from iterative synchronization to plan-aware execution. Ramasubramanian Sundararajan from Sabre took us on a journey of how to choose an appropriate model to move from the problem domain to the solution domain that aids in decision making.

Sreedevi Gannae and Vishal Agarwal from Cognizant provided insight on how predictive analytics is transforming procurement through the five pillars, namely: price forecasting, cost modeling, spend and contract optimization, risk modeling and behavioral analytics. Gunaranjan Pemmaraju from Gadfly Zone, a startup company, showcased the use of data sciences for industrial marketing. The key to success is how dark data (which is unstructured) is converted to light data (which is structured) through domain expertise and sophisticated algorithms.

Day two was all about rolling up one’s sleeves and working on solving the actual problems on hand. Constraint programming for mixed integers, sequential decision models for inventory optimization, machine learning using python, and insights using big data were thoroughly discussed and debated. The event also witnessed poster exhibitions and paper presentations from academia, as well as from JDA associates.

Overall, an awesome OPTSUM!

  22 Comments   Comment

  1. Gautam Mehta

    Great Summary Narasimha. It was indeed a great symposium of analytics in SCM / Retail / PRM and truly enjoyed attending the Summit.

  2. This is a perfect platform for business cum learning. People from industry and academic sharing their knowledge for betterment of processes is great initiative. Kudos to JDA and JDA Innovation Team for organizing such events.

  3. It was a privilege to be there at the event. I must say it was great to see optimization experts come together and present solutions to some of the challenges faced today.

  4. This is the key and simple message.

    “Connecting the dots between demand, fulfillment, transportation and warehouse management was the theme for JDA’s Rajiv Bhuta.

    Customer & Prospect believing they will get value is very important to moving JDA forward in the market place.

    We need to keep pushing this message.

  5. Davide Mopera

    I wish I was there! The event looked fun and I know was very informational!

  6. chris caraballo

    Loving the use of analytics to drive next Gen integrated supply chain.

  7. Salil Sanghvi

    Analytics is going to play a major role in Supply Chain space. We need to understand how analytics can be used in existing products, which will add more value to products and help customers take timely decisions.

  8. Colin Stennett

    Sounds like a really interactive and informative event. Hopefully the first of many!


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