Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Irony of Speaking on Perishable Supply Chains on Friday Only to Throw Out All the Food in the Fridge on Wednesday

What a week it has been!

On Friday, October 28, 2011, I had the pleasure of being hosted by the Management Science group at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, where I spoke on Perishable Product Supply Chains with a focus on healthcare.

In my talk, I presented our recent research on such perishable products in healthcare as vaccines and medicines, as well as medical radioisotopes used in cancer diagnostics and cardiac imaging, and even blood.

The mathematical formulations that I discussed, which ranged from competitive oligopoly models with brand differentiation for vaccines and medicines to system-optimization network models for blood supply chains, with minor modifications and adaptations, can also be used for such perishable products as food.

My presentation, in pdf format, can be downloaded here.

Today is the seventh full day after the October snowstorm hit our area on October 29, 2011 and, unbelievably, still thousands in Massachusetts are without electricity.

Our neighborhood's electricity got restored after 73 hours without power.

However, all of the food in our fridge had spoiled and had to be discarded.

One of my Finance colleagues had the foresight to purchase insurance for this kind of disaster and he will recover hundreds of dollars to compensate him for the perished/spoiled food in his fridge.