Thursday, October 28, 2004
253 Rhodes Hall
Real-time Supply Chain Management at Amazon
Amazon.com runs a vast supply chain to allow its customers to order tens of millions of different items. Although Amazon certainly uses many traditional operations research technologies to manage its supply chain, e.g., forecasting demand, managing its distribution system, optimizing picking in the warehouse, the real-time nature of order fulfillment combined with Amazon's huge order volumes has necessitated applying techniques from control theory to balance workload dynamically across our fulfillment network. Amazon is just in the early stages of applying control theoretic techniques to managing its real-time supply chain. The speaker will discuss progress so far and challenges for the future.