Supply Chain Projects

The faculty and students of Whitman's renowned supply chain program assist companies and organizations from around the world with various supply chain projects. 

Staples Grant and Projects:

Whitman received a grant from Staples in order to conduct two different projects. Under this grant, Whitman students and faculty conducted a data-intensive inventory analysis in order to maximize operational excellence at Staples fulfillment centers. In addition, the team built a new capacity decision model that considered various disruption risks. 

Crouse Hospital

Each year more than 1.2 million people are admitted to US hospitals with chronic respiratory illnesses. Their treatment often includes inhaled medications that are administered three to four times per day by respiratory care practitioners (RCPs) assigned to the patient’s care unit.  However, due to common medication schedules and lengthy administration times, most hospitals struggle to administer those medications on time.  Whitman faculty and partners addressed the tardiness problem at Crouse Hospital by staggering the scheduled administration times and consolidating the unit-based RCPs into a “swarm” that travels together from care unit to care unit administering inhaled medications.

Since each RCP visits each of the hospital’s care units each day, chronic respiratory patients can be paired with the same RCP whenever they are re-admitted to the hospital. These primary care relationships help enhance the effectiveness of patient education, enable more consistent, comprehensive patient assessments, and support evidence-based care for those patients.  Eighteen months after implementing this chronic care treatment strategy, one 350-bed hospital realized a 24 percent decrease in 30-day COPD readmissions rate and a 90 percent reduction in tardy inhaled medications.

This project was a semi-finalist for INFORMS 2016 Franz Edelman Award for Achievement in Operations Research and the Management Sciences

Minnowbrook

Whitman faculty and staff brought together four high-achieving students—Brian Becker, a second-year J.D./MBA, Sandra Carruitero ’16, Kelley Long ’15 and Isaac Signorelli ’15. Students made strategic operational recommendations to improve the struggling University owned Minnowbrook Conference Center. 

New York State Maple Producers Association

While most consumers associate maple syrup with the state of Vermont, the state of New York produces a significant amount, predicted to be larger than that of Vermont. For this project the Whitman School supply chain students faculty determined how to penetrate high-end retail chains by educating consumers about the local and natural production of high-quality maple syrup obtained in the state of New York, as well as how to expand markets internationally. 

Craftistas

The Craftistas firm is focused on selling do-it-yourself craft kits through a subscription system. Through the project Whitman School identified the point when to switch to a large-scale distribution facility, determined the best way to source ingredients for kits, and explored whether similar subscription kits can be provided in international markets (e.g. South East Asia).