Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue

Real-Time Order Tracking for Supply Systems

Srini123x175Dr. Mandyam Srinivasan
Pilot Corporation Chair of Excellence in Business
University of Tennessee
Friday, February 5, 2016
2:30-3:30pm JDT410


This talk presents a stochastic model to evaluate the value of real-time shipment tracking information for supply systems that consist of a retailer, a manufacturer, and multiple stages of transportation. Orders received by the manufacturer may take several time periods before the manufacturer can ship them. Shipments move through multiple stages before they reach the retailer, where each stage represents a physical location or a step in the replenishment process. The lead time for a new order depends on the number of unshipped orders at the manufacturer’s site and the number and location of all shipments in transportation. The analytic model uses real-time information on the number of unshipped orders as well as the location of shipments to determine the ordering policy that minimizes the long-run average cost for the retailer. Numerical examples show that the long-run average cost can be substantially lower with the real-time tracking information. It is demonstrated that when there is a lack of information it is better for the retailer to order every time period, but with full information on supply system status it is not necessary to order every time period to lower the long-run average cost. This talk also presents the value of obtaining partial information on supply system status.


Mandyam M. Srinivasan (“Srini”) is the Pilot Corporation Chair of Excellence in Business at The University of Tennessee. His work has appeared in many journals including Operations Research, Management Science, IIE Transactions, and Queueing Systems. He has received numerous awards outstanding teaching and research. In 2006 he received the Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research from the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences. His research and teaching efforts have been supported by grants and contracts from various organizations including the U.S. Air Force, the National Science Foundation, Northern Telecom, General Motors, Allied Signal-Honeywell and IBM. He received his Ph.D. from Northwestern University.

Srini has published five books, the most recent three, published with McGraw-Hill, being Building Lean Supply Chains with the Theory of Constraints (2011), Global Supply Chains: Evaluating Regions on an EPIC Framework (2013), and Lean Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul: Changing the Way You Do Business (2014). He has consulted with many organizations including Sony, SPX, Embraer, Norfolk Southern, Lennox, Textron, Bush Brothers and the U.S. Air Force. In his spare time he enjoys traveling and playing lead guitar for his rock ‘n roll band, Air Supply Chain.