Teaching Materials

Big Depot Hurricane Planning

This game provides a synthesis between contracting and allocating inventory under demand uncertainty. It has a table-top structure, starting with general information about the supply chain setting, conditions and operations; then, every step begins with some data and information that should be used to make decisions about expected issues in the exercises. Players assume roles, which may well affect their incentives and priorities, and therefore the decisions they make. The game has been played in ISYE 6203-Transportation and Supply Chain Systems (Spring 2009) , ISYE 4803-Societal/Humanitarian Applications of OR/MS (Fall 2009) at Georgia Tech and in the Supply Chain Module of the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management Program in University of Lugano, Switzerland (July 2009).

Authors: O. Ergun, G. Karakus, P. Keskinocak, J. Swann, M. Villarreal
Type: Classroom Game

Designing a Malaria Intervention Supply Chain

This case study and corresponding classroom game detail the real world decisions made in the design of malaria spraying operations including locating distribution centers, scheduling deployment of spray teams, and allocating scare resources. The purpose of this case study and classroom game is to provide a real world example of the application of operations research including linear programming and heuristic development.  The classroom game incorporates an interactive computer program which allows students to examine the consequences of design decisions in the malaria spraying supply chain.  This allows students to gain experience with the trade-offs and complexities in decision making with scarce resources.  The game and case study have been used in the following classes:  Healthcare Delivery (Spring 2010 and 2011), Supply Chain Modeling: Logistics (Spring 2011), Advanced Optimization (Fall 2010) at Georgia Tech; Special Topics in Industrial Engineering at University of Arkansas (Fall 2010 and 2011); Health Systems Engineering at Penn State (Fall 2010); Advanced Logistics at Southern Polytechnic University (Spring 2011).  Additionally, they have been used in the Supply Chain Module of the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management Program at the University of Lugano, Switzerland (April 2010).

Authors: J. Griffin, P. Keskinocak, H. Smalley, M. Soldner, J. Swann
Type: Teaching Case, Classroom Game

Designing a Network for Equitable Distribution of Breastmilk for Infants

The case study has participants design a network and allocations, where equity can be a component of design principles. It provides opportunities for students to practice optimization modeling and measure the cost of equity for a system. The participants can also examine ways to estimate supply and demand in such a network, where critical assumptions can lead to different results. Piloted in the GT Professional education course leading to a certificate in Health & Humanitarian Logistics (2012).

Authors: W. Cai, M. Celik, O. Ergun, J. Swann, and N. Viljoen.
Type: Case Study, Classroom Tool.

Health and Humanitarian Applications of OR/MS

Similar to ISYE 6320, this course focuses on the applications of OR/MS with health and humanitarian impact. Course topics include patient flow optimization, evaluating the cost effectiveness of methane from landfills as a source of renewable energy, modeling the spread of measles and evaluating the effectiveness of different vaccination strategies, and prepositioning supplies for emergency response. In Spring 2008, students participating in this course worked on real-world projects with government or non-profit organizations including CDC, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Magee Women’s Hospital, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and Heart to Heart International.

Authors: Dr. Pinar Keskinocak.
Type: Graduate level course. ISyE 8803.

Humanitarian Response Planning at the Home Depot

Motivated by real world problems generalized from a series of interviews with Home Depot’s disaster response team, the goal of this case study is to exemplify the application of operations research concepts, methodology and intuition to challenges faced in relief logistics, which may be different than the ones typically faced in the idealized commercial supply chain settings. Issues include unpredictable disasters of unpredictable magnitude that lead to unpredictable demand, the speed in which a supply chain must be constructed once a disaster is realized, the limited visibility of needs, and the need for dynamic decisions. The case has been used in the Supply Chain Module of the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management Program in University of Lugano, Switzerland (July 2009) and in ISYE 4803-Societal/Humanitarian Applications of OR/MS (Fall 2009) at Georgia Tech.

Authors: M. Drake, O. Ergun, G. Karakus, P. Kerl, P. Keskinocak, J. Swann, M. Villarreal
Type: Teaching Case

Interactive Supply Chain Game

The primary goal of this game is to investigate the interplay between the supplier’s inventory allocation mechanism and the customers’ demand forecast and orders, i.e., to determine how customers revise their forecasts and orders in response to the supplier’s allocation mechanism. The game has been played in ISYE 6230-Economic Decision Analysis (Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011), ISYE 4301-Supply Chain Economics (Spring 2009, Spring 2010), ISYE 3104-Supply Chain Models: Manufacturing Logistics (Summer 2009), and Supply Chain and Logistics Institute short course on Inventory Planning and Management (Spring 2012) at Georgia Tech.

Authors: P. Keskinocak, S. Xia
Type: Classroom Game

Lessons in Disaster Supply Chain Management from Waffle House Restaurants

Natural and man-made disasters present an increasing challenge to the management of supply chains both for businesses and humanitarian response agencies. Sharing best practices enables the continued improvement of processes that can further impact lives and livelihoods in the event of a disaster. This case study highlights the experiences of Waffle House Restaurants, which has been nationally recognized for its response to hurricanes in the United States. It also includes questions that instructors or managers can use to help students or supply chain professionals develop analytical approaches to the challenges presented by disaster response. The case has been used in the Supply Chain Module of the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management Program at the University of Lugano, Switzerland (July 2009) and ISYE 4803-Societal/Humanitarian Applications of OR/MS (Fall 2009) at Georgia Tech.

Authors: O. Ergun, J. Heier Stamm, P. Keskinocak, J. Swann
Type: Teaching Case

Public Applications of OR/MS

This course focuses on the applications of Operations Research/Management Science (OR/MS) with public impact, in particular, in non-profit organizations. Course topics include humanitarian logistics, pre-positioning (preparedness) for humanitarian response, immunization scheduling, vaccine procurement, preparedness (food and vaccination plan) for pandemic response, and infection control at hospitals. Students participating in this course worked on real-world projects with non-profit organizations. P. Keskinocak taught the course in Spring 2007 and Fall 2008.
This course was initially offered as “special topics,” but is approved to become a permanent course in 2010: ISYE-6320 Public Impact Applications of Operations Research and Management Science.

Authors: Dr. Pinar Keskinocak.
Type: Graduate level course. ISyE 6320.

Societal and Humanitarian Applications of OR/MS

The successful applications of OR/MS tools and techniques have resulted in positive impact in many industries, helping companies lower their costs, offer better service, and increase profits. OR/MS tools have an equally strong potential for making a positive impact in the society as well, e.g., through their use in societal, health, and humanitarian applications. Some of these applications are related to meeting the ongoing needs of the society, such as ambulance routing, location of public service facilities, and delivery of blood to hospitals. Many parts of the world suffer from the lack of basic necessities, including shelter, water, food, education, basic health care, and safety, identified in “humanity’s top 10 problems over the next 50 years.” This course provides an introduction to some important problems with societal impact and explores how OR/MS tools can be used in addressing those problems. The course also engages students in projects with potential societal impact, creating awareness towards societal issues, and encouraging students to transform that awareness into positive action. This course was offered in Fall 2009.

Authors: Dr. Pinar Keskinocak, Dr. Julie Swann.
Type: Undergraduate level course. ISyE 4803.

Supply Chain Coordination and Collaboration in Haiti: A Case Study of The Salvation Army’s Use of the UPS Trackpad®

Every supply chain faces challenges in delivering the right quantity and type of product to the right place at the right time. However, the circumstances faced when designing and managing the systems that deliver goods to people affected by natural disasters create additional challenges. In these scenarios, both demand and supply are highly uncertain. Response plans must be developed quickly and be able to accommodate changing conditions. Frequently, planners must deal with limited or damaged infrastructure in such systems. There are often a wide range of entities involved in these supply chains, including government, military, private, and nongovernmental organizations and individuals. Such systems exhibit decentralization in decision making, because it is difficult for a single centralized decision maker to create plans when infrastructure limits communication or when there are so many parties with differing objectives and information.

This case study examines the use and potential impact of technologies like the UPS Trackpad® in managing a Salvation Army IDP camp in Port-au-Prince following the January 2010 Haiti earthquake. The case addresses the capability of the tool to address resource distribution, facilitate data sharing, and enable more accurate tracking of the population being served. Critical to the success of these efforts were the UN cluster system, the complementary expertise of collaborating organizations, and a novel application of existing technology. This scenario also points to many of the challenges faced in any supply chain disruption, as well as the opportunity to address these challenges through coordination and collaboration.

Authors: Özlem Ergun, Luyi Gui, Jessica L. Heier Stamm, Pinar Keskinocak, and Julie L. Swann
Type: Teaching Case, Classroom game