Research and teaching of the management of operations in production and service systems are the center of the specialization’s activities. In teaching, we aim to endow students with a deep understanding of the area of operational strategy as a pivotal tool in realizing organizational strategy and creating competitive advantage. The knowledge acquired in the range of courses offered enables students to analyze, plan and improve processes in the supply chains, the service systems, projects, product development, and innovation. The courses we regularly offer deal with subjects such as operations research and decision modeling, creating value in processes, operational strategy, managing supply chains, and sustainability.
Our research is carried out through quantitative tools such as:
- Operations research
- Economics and game theory
In view of the nature of the research questions in the area of operational strategy, most of the research is multi-disciplinary and focuses on systems that cross the boundaries of a single organization.
One of the salient issues in operational strategy is the management of supply chains, which is defined as the management of the processes that are critical to creating value, throughout the organizations that participate in planning products, creating them, bringing them to market, supporting and servicing them, and more. Since supply chains are naturally managed by different departments and organizations, their effective and efficient management requires mechanisms to coordinate and convey information. For instance, we conduct research on devising incentives to invest in forecasting systems, information sharing among firms in the supply chains, environmental aspects of supply chain management, the economics of information systems and contract theory.
One of the inter-disciplinary issues is operational strategy, namely revenue management, deals with the joint management of resources and pricing as an effective tool for matching supply and demand for the purpose of maximizing profits. The classic example of an industry that makes use of this tool are the airlines, which dynamically change the prices of they offer for their flights, depending on the time, the number of seats remaining unsold on the flight, and more. Systems such as these also have applications in the hotel industry, in the car rental industry, logistical services, and sales of fashion goods. Examples are our research on the value of learning (about the demand) in dynamic pricing systems, and on the impact of consumer behavior on the effectiveness of systems of this type.
One of the failures in operating supply chains or service systems is the lack of full cooperation among the various units that make up the chain. Cooperation can find expression in providing information, conveying inventory or coordinating policy among the various units in the chain. An example of this is the transfer of goods between retailers in the same network when some of them have inventory and others lack inventory. Inventory transfer enables an increase in sales. One of the accepted disciplines for understanding the impact of cooperation on the system as a whole and on each separate unit in the system is cooperative game theory, which helps in investigating the optimal policy and in fairly allocating costs or profits among the various units, in order to maintain the stability of the chain.
In light of the broad public understanding of the importance of maintaining environmental quality and the need to integrate sustainability issues into the management of firms, research on operational strategy also deals with the interface between industrial ecology and operations, with a focus on decision making that incorporates measuring economic performance and the environmental impact of the systems and the products. Among the issues researched are: the end of the life cycle of products, and particularly the collection and disposal of electronic waste, the environmental effects of the penetration into the market of electric vehicles and alternatives to fuel-based energy, the environmental and economic implications of a transition to cooperative economics, green supply chain management, improving energy efficiency, and the use of tools such as life cycle assessment in business decision making.
Head of Operational Strategy Department
Anily, S. and M. Haviv (2014). Sub-additive and homogenous of degree one games are totally balanced. Operations Research, Vol. 62, pp. 788-793.
Anily, S., Refael Hassin (2013). Pricing, Replenishment, and timing of selling in a market with heterogeneous customers. International Journal of Production Economics, Vol. 145, pp. 672-682.
Anily, S. and M. Haviv (2010). Cooperation in service systems. Operations Research, Vol. 58, pp. 660-673.
Aviv, Y. (2003). A Time Series Framework for Supply Chain Inventory Management, Operations Research, Vol. 51 (2) pp. 210-227.
Aviv, Y., A. Pazgal (2005). A Partially Observed Markov Decision Process for Dynamic Pricing, Management Science Vol. 51 (9) pp. 1400-1416.
Aviv, Y. (2007). On the Benefits of Collaborative Forecasting Partnerships between Retailers and Manufacturers. Management Science, Vol. 53 (5) 777-794 .
Raz G., Druehl c., Blass V. (2013). Design for the Environment: Life Cycle Approach Using a Newsvendor Model. Production and Operations Management Journal 22(4): 940-957
Ovchinnikov A., V. Blass, G. Raz (2014). Economic and Environmental Assessment of Refurbishing Strategies for Product-Service Bundles , Production and Operations Management Journal, 23(5): 744-761.
Blass V. and C. Corbett C. (2016). Same Supply Chain, Different Models: Integrating Perspectives from Life Cycle Assessment and Supply Chain Management. Accepted to the Journal of Industrial Ecology
Shamir, N. & Shin H. Strategic Communication for Capacity Alignment with Pricing in a Supply Chain, Chu, L.Y. To be published in Management Science
Shamir, N. Cartel Formation Through Strategic Information Leakage in a Distribution Channel, to be published in Marketing Science
Shamir, N. and H. Shin, (2016) Public Forecast Information Sharing in a Market with Competing Supply Chains. Management Science, 62(10), pp. 2994–3022.