MIT-Zaragoza Speaker Series: Ananth Iyer

  • July 15, 2010 - 13:00
  • ZLC, Lecture Room A2

Prof. Ananth Iyer
Global Supply Chain Management Initiative Krannert School of Management
Purdue University



“Spare Parts Supply Chain Models at the US Coast Guard”

For the past seven years, along with colleagues, we have been working on five projects with the US Coast Guard aircraft repair and service center. The data from these projects have inspired supply chain models that permitted both mathematical analysis as well as interesting insights for practice. We report on two such models.

The first model focuses on the optimal choice of aircraft upgrade and gearbox upgrade in a closed loop supply chain. The model focused on the running upgrade of the HH-65 aircraft at the Coast Guard and involved two closed loop supply chains – one involving aircraft and the other involving gearboxes. Analysis of the model yields optimal policies for aircraft upgrade and gearbox repair. The associated models apply in contexts where new models have to be phased in while existing models continue to operate. Results from the analysis suggested the value of different implementation policies and yielded managerial insights for other contexts.

The second model focuses on using part age information to adjust repair of broken parts in order to minimize inventory costs. The model developed first uses linear programming to link repair and inventory databases. Data from this model was then used to estimate the impact of a part age based repair policy implemented in the system. Analysis of the model generated an approach to identify the optimal signal and ways to maximize the benefit of the signal through use of appropriate repair policies. Application to data suggested the impact of part type on supply chain benefit. Estimates of the benefit of such policies were used to develop specifications for a supply chain system and develop an estimate of expected cost savings by product type.

The models suggest a role for problem contexts to drive academic research that can yield generalizable insights in supply chain research.


Professor Iyer is the Susan Bulkeley Butler Chair in Operations Management and the Director of DCMME (Dauch Center for the Management of Manufacturing Enterprises)and GSCMI (the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative) at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University. Previously, he was Purdue University Faculty Scholar from 1999-2004.

His teaching and research interests are operations and supply chain management. Professor Iyer’s research currently focuses on analysis of supply chains including the modeling of spare parts supply chains, the impact of promotions on logistics systems in the grocery industry, analysis of the impact of competitors on operational management models and the role of supply contracts. His other topics of study include inventory management in the fashion industry, effect of supplier contracts, and use of empirical data sets in operations management model building. His published works have appeared in Operations Research, Management Science, M&SOM Journal, EJOR, OR Letters, Networks etc. He was the FMC Scholar in 1990-91.

He is a Department Editor of Management Science, Associate Editor of Operations Research, on the editorial boards of Operations Research Letters ,IIE Transactions, the ECR Journal and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management editorial board, and member of INFORMS. He was formerly a Senior Editor at the POMS Journal. He was president-elect of the MSOM Society of INFORMS in 2001-02 and served as president for the year 2002-03. Prior to joining the Krannert faculty in 1996, Professor Iyer taught at the University of Chicago. He has been affiliated with the Production and Distribution Research Center at Georgia Tech, and a consultant to Daymon Associates, Sara Lee, Turner Broadcasting, Dade Behring, Case New Holland and others. He served his Chicago community as a pro bono consultant to the Chicago School System and the Chicago Streets and Sanitation Department.

Ananth Iyer has a PhD from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, an MS in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Syracuse University and a B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Bombay.


  • Start Date:July 15, 2010
  • Start Time:13:00
  • End Date:July 15, 2010
  • End Time:14:00
  • Location:ZLC, Lecture Room A2