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Anand Nair, PhD, CFPIM
Researcher, educator, consultant, and data scientist working with organizations in manufacturing, healthcare and retail sectors on issues such as inventory management, forecasting, pricing, capacity planning, lean systems, manufacturing planning and control, quality management, contracting, product development, process improvement and technology implementation. Interested in examining ways in which manufacturing and service firms learn, adapt, and self-organize to manage complexity, risk, and relationships inherent in operational, supply chain, and innovation activities. Engaged in investigating how manufacturing and service firms can manage supply and innovation networks by strengthening end-to-end visibility and fostering adaptive strategic and operational behaviors to improve cost, quality, delivery, flexibility, innovation and sustainability performance.
Interests: music, movies, workout, reading, writing, traveling
Recent Activity
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I am thankful to the Eli Broad Endowment Fund, my mentors, research collaborators, students, and well-wishers...🙏 Continue reading
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Last month (July 2022) I spent time in an Indian village working with an organization that connects rural communities to solar, water, education, professions and advocacy to help communities and individuals take control of their lives and the well being... Continue reading
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In this post, I cover supply chain and operational issues faced by a small and medium enterprise providing thermal management technology for consumer electronics, lithium batteries, and electric vehicles. I will also allude to actions that are being taken to address supply chain issues. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the outlook for small and medium enterprises operating in this space in light of prevailing operational and supply chain challenges. Continue reading
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The vulnerabilities of global supply chains were exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In this post I first consider the geopolitical landscape and disruptions in PPE supplies by reflecting on the conditions before the pandemic until the time when countries started to take steps toward managing the crisis. Next, I discuss prevailing contextual conditions, future demand and supply trends, and directions for risk management through government interventions, public-private partnerships and organizational best practices. Continue reading
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Modern vehicle is much more of a digital device than a mechanical one. Whether it is the engine control systems, driver assistance systems or media centers, electronic technology is omnipresent. The advancement towards the "connected car" and autonomous driving is only accelerating this trend. In this increasing presence of electronic systems in a car, the wire harness is one of the key backbone that integrates various digital components, links digital components with mechanical and structural components, and ensures that the onboard electronic systems get the required power supply. It is also critical for enhancing efficiency and ensuring vehicle safety. Continue reading
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Russia's invasion of Ukraine that began a week ago (on 24th February 2022) is setting in motion a set of dire conditions that supply chains are going to face in coming times. In this post, I reflect on the effect of the crisis on oil prices, energy prices, supplies for product manufacturing, service supplies, food supplies, and metals. Continue reading
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In a study my co-authors and I examine whether quality penalties aimed at reducing readmissions improve continuity of health care. We investigate if the quality penalty policy impacts continuity of care for services that were targeted by the policy through what we refer to as primary spillover effects. We also investigate the secondary spillover effects of the quality penalty policy on continuity of care for related ailments that were not targeted by the policy. Continue reading
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In our research we examine how corporations’ environmental impact influences social media sentiment and firm value. To address this important question, we analyze a large-scale dataset collected from five sources (Trucost, Infegy Atlas, Center for Research in Security Prices, COMPUSTAT, and Harris Interactive). We find that environmental impact results in less favorable social media sentiment toward the firm. Natural resource usage and land, water, and air pollution have the most profound effect on social media sentiment of the various types of environmental impacts. However, brand equity helps insulate the negative effect of environmental impact and simultaneously strengthens the positive relationship between social media sentiment and the firm’s long-term abnormal returns; by contrast, market competition weakens this relationship. The results further show that social media sentiment mediates the link between environmental impact and firm value. The research findings provide useful implications to aid firms in managing their environmental impact so as to avoid negative social media response and, in turn, enhance firm value. Ultimately, this study calls for the careful management of investments in activities detrimental to the environment, because consequent negative comments on social media can negatively affect firm value. Furthermore, firms lacking brand equity and facing intense market competition need to be especially vigilant with their activities that can be construed as socially irresponsible. Continue reading
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Disasters affect hundreds of millions of people every year and the response of governments is crucial in alleviating the suffering of those affected. Despite the importance of contracting in response to disasters, research on this topic is conspicuous by its absence. Our research addresses this gap by investigating the use of procurement contracts by US federal agencies during disaster management operations. The research relies on 47,560 contracts issued by the US federal government in response to 14 major disasters between 2005 and 2016. We build on agency theory and the theory of regulatory capture to investigate the choice of the contract type made by federal agencies at different stages of a relief operation. This research provides empirical evidence of the impact of key factors underpinning the choice of contract in the context of disaster management, namely the amount of spend per contract and the type of acquisition (product or service), and reveals the moderating role of the stage of the relief operation. Continue reading
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In a research study we examine the impact of magnitude and likelihood of disruptions on surgical procedure performance. More importantly, we investigate the moderating role played by information exchange and risk management infrastructure in mitigating the negative effect of disruption on performance. A nationwide multi-respondent survey was administered to operating room personnel to collect information on their experiences with disruptions experienced in surgeries. The survey data is analyzed to examine the relationship between operational disruptions and procedure performance. Additionally, the moderating roles of risk management infrastructure and information exchange on the relationship between disruptions and performance are investigated. The results obtained from the empirical analysis are validated using data from an ethnographic investigation of surgeries at a major hospital. The results show that both the magnitude and the likelihood of a disruption adversely impacts procedure performance. Interestingly, we find that risk management infrastructure and information exchange play different roles in mitigating the effect of disruptions on performance. We find that while risk management infrastructure helps mitigate the effect of magnitude of service disruptions, information exchange helps reduce the effects of likelihood of disruptions. The findings lend strong support to our theoretical assertions. By means of the participant-observer data collected from over 100 surgeries as part of the ethnographic investigation, we validate our key findings. Our findings suggest that disruptions are common occurrences in surgical settings, but their performance impact may be lessened or altogether avoided with the proper information and risk management mechanisms in place. This survey research extends our understanding of risk management by considering a context that is highly prone to disruptions. We adopt existing constructs pertaining to supply chain disruptions within this context and find new insights. The findings of our study show differential roles played by information exchange and risk management infrastructure in mitigating disruptions. This nuanced understanding provides directions for aligning efforts towards risk mitigation in surgical settings in a more focused way. This study supplements findings from survey data analysis with an examination of data collected by means of ethnographic investigation. Continue reading
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In a research study my co-authors and I seek to advance the knowledge on ISO 9001 implementation by examining two research issues. First, we investigate the relationship between external auditors, certification bodies, and the operational and market-oriented outcomes from the ISO 9001 certification. Second, we study the different roles played by external auditors and certification bodies in affecting the outcomes achieved from the quality of implementation of the standard. Continue reading
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The cost of medical supplies represents a significant portion of hospital spending. Hospitals manage two types of medical supplies, general and physician preference items. General items tend to be numerous and relatively low cost, while physician preference items tend to be less numerous and more expensive. Strong physician preference for certain medical supplies can limit the options available to reduce hospital inventory costs. The use of consignment inventory is one way in which hospitals seek to reduce inventory costs for both general as well as physician preference items. While the use of consignment stock inventory is common practice in hospitals, the real effect of the use of consignment in hospitals has received limited attention from both academics as well as practitioners. Based on the analysis of hospital data we find that contrary to what hospital management expects, the use of consignment inventory does not always result in a reduction of inventory costs. In our study we present two mathematical models based on typical contract conditions found in hospitals. Using these models we provide insights into factors that affect inventory costs at hospitals using consignment. We provide guidelines hospitals can use to choose the right contract when negotiating consignment agreements for general as well as physician preference items. Continue reading
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We study the three key dimensions of supply chain integration – supply integration, demand integration and internal integration and empirically examine how each is related to the others and how they impact food banks’ ability to create basic programs that help in delivering food to the underserved communities. Continue reading
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In a study my we use the Sparse Inverse Covariance Estimation (SICE) method, in conjunction with bootstrapping technique, to identify holistic patterns for operations and supply chain management Continue reading
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India faced a significant liquid medical oxygen (LMO) shortage when there was a sudden onslaught of Covid-19 crisis and most infected patients needed LMO support. Requests for oxygen cylinders flooded the social media. Government organisations, NGOs, and private sector quickly jumped to arrange LMO for the distressed victims. The requirement for LMO grew multiple times than the standard usage leaving many stranded due to an inadequate supply of this essential product. What makes the whole LMO supply chain so complex and challenging? It appears that a combination of factors interacted in creating a ‘perfect storm’. These factors range from the contextual environment surrounding LMO supply chain in India, the unique set of bottlenecks created by the prevailing demand and supply situation, the need for additional resource commitments, and the approach adopted towards allocations. It is important to reflect on these aspects to come up with a road map for averting the crisis and being prepared for future needs. The LMO supply chain context in India is relatively structured on the upstream production end but is highly fragmented in the downstream end where the produced LMO needs to reach the point of use at hospitals. The first bottleneck occurs at the point of production where there is insufficient capacity to cover the needs of heightened demand created by Covid-19. Continue reading
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Projects are increasingly being managed in virtual settings where project team members collaborate online. Collaborative information exchanges among team members result in the creation of complex communication network that can have non-trivial influence on the outcome due to the asynchronous nature of these exchanges and the lack of visual and non-verbal cues. In an ongoing research, my co-authors and I examine the impact of communication network characteristics on the number of issues closed within an open source software (OSS) development project. Additionally, the study examines the role of project managers’ active participation in these communication networks on project outcome. A panel dataset comprising of 1842 OSS development projects spanning 104 weeks from the time of project initiation was carefully compiled for this research. The unbalanced panel data results in a total of 138,549 observations. Dynamic panel data analyses show that as density of the communication network formed by team member interactions increases, project performance increases but then starts to decrease. Project managers’ active participation in the communication network has a direct positive role in improving project performance. Furthermore, active participation of project managers reduces the rate of decrease in project performance after the density of communication network formed by project team members cross the inflection point. Continue reading
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In an ongoing research my co-authors and I aim to understand how to manage testing strategies by accounting both testing-site specific and human-behavior related factors. In particular, we consider testing site factors such as type of swab analysis site (public vs. private), relative analysis capacity, distance between collection and testing sites. Human-behavior related factors include social interactions vs isolation during the waiting times. Healthcare policy makers can leverage our research insights in developing testing guidelines, which would enable rapid response to swab processing. In addition, the results of this study are instrumental to control the spread of infections during pandemics. Continue reading
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In a recently concluded project my collaborators and I draw from previous studies conducted by Center for Applied Purchasing Studies (CAPS), relevant academic and trade journals, as well as case interview data from relevant organizations to investigate use cases and practical applications of implementation of emerging technologies in supply management. Emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain are increasingly being deployed in organizations to execute and facilitate supply chain and procurement activities. Yet knowledge is still lacking with respect to the effectiveness of these technologies. Our study provides insights into the justification, use cases, implementation process, barriers to implementation, critical success factors for implementation, and overall assessment of the effectiveness of Blockchain, Internet of things, Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics, Robotic Process Automation, Contract Analytics, Procure-to-Pay, Spend Analytics, Optical Character Recognition and Radio Frequency Identification technology. Continue reading
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Analyzing supply market conditions is an important activity within sourcing. As part of this activity organizations need to understand what does the supply market look like and what are the current conditions. Organizations should develop strategies regarding what they are going to do, given the supply market conditions, in order to make a good deal with a supplier. Here are some of the important aspects to be considered... Continue reading
With hospitals under financial pressure from COVID-19 and medical waste volumes even higher, the pandemic could finally trigger a much-needed reset in how health care organizations and hospitals think about supply-related waste. That includes how they reuse supplies, how they plan for surgeries and what they look for in prepackaged surgical supplies. Click the above link to read the entire article that I have published in The Conversation. Continue reading
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Many studies on ISO 9001 have been focused on the motivation, the implementation process and the outcomes of the implementation of the standard. This study seeks to advance the knowledge on ISO 9001 implementation by examining two research issues. First, we investigate the relationship between external auditors, certification bodies, and the operational and market-oriented outcomes from the ISO 9001 certification. Second, we study the different roles played by external auditors and certification bodies in affecting the outcomes achieved from the quality of implementation of the standard. Using a dataset comprising of 537 firms from Australia and New Zealand that are ISO 9001 certified, our findings show that the quality of external auditors enhances operational outcomes as well as strengthens the relationship between ISO 9001 implementation and operational outcomes. This affirms the role of external auditors in the implementation of the standard. On the other hand, the reputation of certification bodies has a positive direct effect on market-oriented outcome, and its effect is strengthened by the quality of ISO 9001 implementation. The findings, therefore, show the contrasting roles between external auditors and certification bodies in enhancing different outcomes of ISO 9001 adoption in terms of operational and market-oriented ones. Continue reading
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The COVID-19 situation resulted in a sudden and unprecedented peak in global demand. This led to inventory shortages and capacity constraints. Healthcare organizations experienced congestion and resorted to demand substitution. The supply chain for pharmaceuticals and medical devices were impacted by disruptions. Continue reading
COVID-19 and Implications for Manufacturing, Reshoring, and considering Total Cost of Disruption Continue reading
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United Nations World Food Programme wins Nobel Peace Prize for efforts to combat hunger Continue reading