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.
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.
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.
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!