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Supply Chain Resource Cooperative Calendar

Academic Conference: Doing Good With OM and OR

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October 28, 2022 | 8:30 am - 3:30 pm

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The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) invites you to join us for an in-person, one-day academic conference on Friday, October 28, 2022, “Doing Good With OM and OR”. 

We will have 6 great speakers from MIT, UNC, Duke, and NC State talk to us about their work on such topics as healthcare operations, healthcare and social responsibility in resource-limited settings, and responsible labor management.

The conference is open to Faculty, Postdocs, and Ph.D. students (Postdocs and Ph.D. students are encouraged to attend!).

*Please do not register if you cannot commit to attending. Space is limited to 50 people, and an accurate headcount is necessary for us to plan for food and parking.


To register for this event, please click here.



<Download the agenda here




Nilay Tanık ArgonNilay Argon
Professor and Director of Graduate Programs
UNC Chapel Hill
College of Arts & Sciences, Statistics & Operations Research



Title: Disparities in Prioritization and Disposition Decisions in Emergency Departments

Abstract: Prior research has shown that health disparities exist in various forms in Emergency Departments (EDs), where certain patient populations have longer wait times, lower medical resource usage, and higher mortality rates. In this talk, I will discuss disparities in two ED decisions that have not received much attention before: prioritization for rooming after triage and disposition decision. Using data from a large academic ED, we identified patient age and race as characteristics that are associated with deviation from a first-come-first-served prioritization rule among patients with a similar triage acuity. We also found that ED disposition decisions, specifically whether or not a patient is admitted to the hospital after their ED stay, correlated with patient sex, race, and ethnicity. These findings suggest that there may be demographic disparities in ED rooming and disposition decisions after adjusting for clinical characteristics. Our results also support the hypothesis that there is an association between these disparities and ED crowding. I will conclude my talk with our ongoing work on solutions to diminish the effects of such disparities in EDs.


Jonas Jonasson
Robert G. James Career Development Associate Professor in Operations Management
Sloan School of Management



Title: Redesigning Sample Transportation in Malawi Through Improved Data Sharing and Daily Route Optimization

Abstract: We present a new approach for timely collection of information on transportation demand in the HIV diagnostic network of Malawi, using low-cost technology based on feature phones and integrating it with a Multi-Stage version of the Dynamic Multi-Period Vehicle Routing Problem to generate daily sample transportation routes in response to this updated information. Results from our implementation demonstrate the practical feasibility and impact of our approach. The observed improvements in Malawi suggest broader applicability to other resource-limited settings, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.


Saravanan Kesavan
Professor of Operations and Sarah Graham Kenan Scholar
UNC Chapel Hill
Keenan Flager Business School



Title: Doing Well by Doing Good: Improving Store Performance with Responsible Scheduling Practices at the Gap, Inc.

Abstract: We estimate the causal effects of responsible scheduling practices on store financial performance at the US retailer Gap, Inc. The randomized field experiment evaluated a multi-component intervention designed to improve dimensions of work schedules – consistency, predictability, adequacy, and employee control – shown to foster employee well-being. The experiment was conducted in 28 stores in the San Francisco and Chicago metropolitan areas for nine months between November 2015 and August 2016. Intent-to-treat (ITT) analyses indicate that implementing responsible scheduling practices increased store productivity by 5.1%, a result of increasing sales (by 3.3%) while also decreasing labor (by 1.8%). Drawing on qualitative interviews with managers and quantitative analyses of employee shift-level data, we offer evidence that the intervention improved financial performance through improved store execution. Our experiment provides evidence that responsible scheduling practices that consider worker well-being can enhance store productivity by motivating additional employee effort and reducing barriers to employees adhering to the scheduled labor plan.


Shawn Mankad Shawn Mankad
Assistant Professor in Analytics

NC State University
Poole College of Management



Title: Evidence of The Unintended Labor Scheduling Implications of The Minimum Wage

Abstract: The effect of the minimum wage is an important yet controversial topic that has received attention for decades. Our study is the first to take an operational lens and empirically study the impact of the minimum wage on firms’ scheduling practices. Using a highly granular dataset from a chain of fashion retail stores, we estimate that a $1 increase in the minimum wage, while having a negligible impact on the total labor hours used by the stores, leads to a 27.7% increase in the number of workers scheduled per week, but a 19.4% reduction in weekly hours per worker. For an average store in California, these changes translate into four extra workers and five fewer hours per worker per week. We also show that the minimum wage increase reduces the consistency of weekly and daily schedules for workers.


Sandeep Rath
Assistant Professor of Operation
UNC Chapel Hill
Keenan Flager Business School 



Title:  Data-Driven Surgical Tray Optimization to Improve Operating Room Efficiency

Abstract: Hospitals spend several million dollars annually on instrument sterilization, tray assembly, and repurchase costs. However, less than 20-30% of reusable instruments supplied to surgery are used. We obtained actual surgical instrument usage data at UNC Rex Hospital in partnership with OpFlow, a healthcare software company. We formulate and solve a data-driven mathematical optimization model for surgical tray configuration and assignment that scales to thousands of instruments and hundreds of surgical trays. Our solution was implemented at the UNC Rex Hospital, and we estimate savings of $1.39 million per year from using the model-recommended solution at the hospital.


Can Zhang
Assistant Professor of Operations

Duke University
Fuqua School of Business


Title: Farm Equipment Sharing in Emerging Economies

Abstract: In emerging economies, there is a growing number of farm equipment sharing platforms that connect smallholder farmers with tractor owners who are willing to fulfill farmers’ requests for mechanization services. Due to the small farm sizes and the low digital literacy in rural areas of emerging economies, these platforms often rely on the so-called “booking agents” to collect demand from individual farmers and submit the aggregated demand on the platform (rather than having individual farmers submit their service requests). This paper studies how the presence of such booking agents affects the platform’s optimal pricing and wage decisions and equilibrium outcomes.





To register for this event, please click here.




Talley Student Union
2610 Cates Ave
Raleigh, NC 27606 United States

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