Wednesday, August 17, 2011

On Being a Proud Academic Mom

When your children surprise you by doing something unexpected and wonderful, they certainly make a mother proud.

I have been smiling all morning since I heard that a group of my former students at the Isenberg School, all of whom received their PhDs in Management Science from UMass Amherst, co-authored a paper, which has now been accepted for publication.

I was the chair of their doctoral dissertation committees.

Yes, we in academia, consider genealogy, especially of the academic kind, to be important; see a recent blogpost and links on this.

Not only is the topic of the paper so timely -- that of closed loop supply chains (CLSCs) -- but the team is made up of four, Assistant and Full Professors, who hail from the states of Pennsylvania, New York, Texas, and Washington.

The paper, The Closed-loop Supply Chain Network with Competition, Distribution Channel Investment, and Uncertainties, Qiang Qiang, Ke Ke, Trisha Anderson, and June Dong, has been accepted in the journal, OMEGA.

In this paper, the authors developed a CLSC network model, consisting of raw material suppliers, manufacturers, and retail outlets. The demand of the retailers was satisfied either by newly manufactured products or by remanufactured products which were deemed comparable to the new ones in function and quality. The consumers were indifferent in their demand for either products.

The authors assumed that the manufacturers collected the recycled product directly from the demand market, similar to the operations of Hewlett-Packard and Xerox Corporation regarding printer cartridges.

The model has a sufficient level of complexity to capture the major environmental and behavioral as well as pricing issues, while, at the same time, being both theoretically sound and computable (very important for practice and analytics).

In the paper, the authors note that:

The volume of waste is growing at an alarming rate and environmental recovery is an option that is underutilized since firms are unsure how to mitigate the ambiguity surrounding economic performance. By providing clarification of reverse supply chain issues, and firms re-examine their recovery efforts, the environmental benefits can be pronounced, for example, reducing landfill space, reducing air pollution, and leveraging the earth’s natural resources, to name a few. Equipped with our model, one can “fine- tune” the parameters to study the behaviors of different decision makers in the CLSC, which also can generate some implications for the policy maker.

Nothing can make a Mom prouder than when her "children" soar!