Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fashion Supply Chain Management, School Ties, and the Preppy Handbook

Our paper, "Fashion Supply Chain Management Through Cost and Time Minimization from a Network Perspective," is now available online on the Supernetworks Center website.

This invited paper was co-authored with one of my doctoral students, Min Yu, for an edited volume on fashion supply chains.

As the abstract states: In this paper, we consider fashion supply chain management through cost and time minimization, from a network perspective and in the case of multiple fashion products. We develop a multicriteria decision-making optimization model subject to multimarket demand satisfaction, and provide its equivalent variational inequality formulation. The model allows for the determination of the optimal multiproduct fashion flows associated with the supply chain network activities, in the form of: manufacturing, storage, and distribution, and identifies the minimal total operational cost and total time consumption.The model allows the decision-maker to weight the total time minimization objective of the supply chain network for the time-sensitive fashion products, as appropriate. Furthermore, we discuss potential applications to fashion supply chain management through a series of numerical examples.

We very much enjoyed conducting the research on which this paper is based.

Working with students on research can take one on intellectual journeys that yield discoveries in terms of new analytical methodologies as well as conceptual frameworks and exciting new applications, that one may not have pursued individually. Collaborations are key to successful research and, when they work well, yield intellectual, professional, and personal rewards.

Building networks through collaborations, beginning at one's educational institutions, may yield life-long partnerships. This is something that I aim to support as the Director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks. This is an exciting time of the year when we begin to welcome new students and associates. Our newest Student Center Associate is Mr. Nathan Kollett, who has matriculated into our doctoral program in Management Science at the Isenberg School and who for the past two years has worked at State Street Corporation in Boston.

Speaking of "school ties," the latest issue of Vanity Fair has several articles featuring my fellow alums from Brown University with one article on Steve Rattner, Obama's "Car Czar," who was the former editor of the Brown Daily Herald, and another on the revised "Preppy Handbook," True Prep, by Lisa Birnbach, another Brown alum, with Chip Kidd. True Prep will be released on September 7 and I am sure that it will be very entertaining reading.

I am a product of an inner city high school, Yonkers High School, which had outstanding teachers and I received four degrees from Brown University, including my PhD. The excerpt from True Prep states that a preppy always has a navy blazer, a fashion piece that is part of my frequent flier uniform, so I guess that aspect of my academic ambience ultimately did rub off on me or perhaps I just subconsciously adopted the uniform of the male execs in business class.