The Center funds research to identify, explore, and develop insights relating to operations management issues relevant to the manufacturing and services sectors.

At the Center, there are two distinct types of research: Funded Research Projects and Faculty Research Grants. The goal of a Funded Research Project is to bring together a group of faculty, senior managers, and companies who share a mutual interest on a topic that has high management relevance and which represents a significant research challenge. The Faculty Research Grants provide seed funding from the Center to individual faculty to support their research in topics that are relevant to the Center’s mission.

Funded Research

The Center conducts research projects funded by corporations and public sector organizations on topics related to service and operations management.

Performance Based Logistics Empirical Study (2007)
A consortium of aerospace and defense companies and organizations are funding an empirical research project to explore the drivers of change in a Performance Based Logistics support environment. Summary data drawn from a sample of military and commercial programs is being collected. These data include output measures such as availability and cost of ownership as well as inputs such as resources management decisions and environmental factors. This research also involves development of incentive based service supply chain models.

Retail Store Execution (2005-2007)
Under a generous grant from P & G, Marshall Fisher, Serguei Netessine (then at Wharton, now at INSEAD) and Wharton PhD student Jayanth Krishnan worked with several retailers to discover ways to improve within store execution. With some of the retailers we regressed revenue at the month-store level against within store execution variables and learned that the four biggest within store problems that hurt revenue were 1) inability to find a sales associate 2) sales associate was not knowledgeable 3) couldn’t find the desired purchase and 4) long check out lines. Results are reported in Marshall L. Fisher, Jayanth Krishnan and Serguei Netessine, “Retail Store Execution: An Empirical Study,” Wharton Operations and Information Management Working Paper, January, 2007 and “Labor Planning, Execution, and Retail Store Performance,” Wharton School Operations and Information Management Working Paper, September 2007.

Rocket Science Retailing (1997 – 2002)
With a grant from the Sloan Foundation and generous gifts from 13 retailers (Albert Heijn, Borders, Bulgari, H.E. Butt Grocery Company, CompUSA, David’s Bridal, Giant Eagle, Iceland Frozen Foods, Nine West Group, Sears, Roebuck and Co., Staples, Tiffany & Co., World Co. Ltd.), Marshall Fisher and Ananth Raman and Anna Sheen of HBS, investigated how developments in information technology would change the way retailers forecast demand and plan supply. This project envisioned that retailing would become more scientific as a result of significantly enhanced data, much as the investment embraced analytics under the so called Rocket Science movement. Results of this study are published in   Marshall Fisher, Ananth Raman and Anna McClelland, “Rocket Science Retailing is Coming: Are Your Ready,” Harvard Business Review, July-August 2000.

Faculty Research

The Center funds individual faculty to conduct research to validate, explore, and develop insights relating operations management issues in the services and manufacturing sectors.

2nd Annual Conf on Empirical Operations Management, (2007)
Christian Terwiesch, Taylor Randall, Vishal Gaur, The Wharton School
The objective of the conference remains to establish a community of scholars with a common passion for empirical investigation in Operations Management. During these two days, participants can exchange experiences and ideas, discuss methodological issues, and grow together as a group of colleagues with a common research interest.

Performance Based Logistics: An Empirical Study, (2007)
Morris Cohen, Sang-Hyun Kim, Serguei Netessine, The Wharton School
The principal goal of this research project is to determine the drivers of performance improvement under Performance Based Logistics (PBL) programs for product support and sustainment. The research will be conducted through data analysis based on econometric methodologies. We initiated the data collection effort and obtained data from one aircraft engine manufacturer. We are continuing to refine this data plus we are discussing data requirements with two aircraft manufacturers as well as with additional programs from the engine manufacturer.

Retail Store Execution, (2007)
Nicole DeHoratius, Marshall Fisher, Serguei Netessine, The Wharton School and Univ. of Chicago GSB
The goal of this project is to identify corporate policies in managing stores that result in outstanding store execution, customer experience and financial performance.

Revenue Management for Arts Organizations: A Pilot Study at Arden Theatre, Philadelphia, (2007)
Senthil Veeraraghavan, The Wharton School
In this research project, we aim to provide revenue management recommendations to Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and Arden Theater, Philadelphia to help overcome this two-sided information asymmetry and successfully employ revenue management principles. Stated simply, our value proposition is that by introducing revenue management principles to non-traditional areas like arts & sports organizations, we aim to create an avenue for advancing service and operations management ideas in newer areas traditionally lacking them. We can also create a better match between the products/services preferred by customers with products supplied by organizations.