Skip to Content Skip to Content

Timeline Years

DCMME | Timeline | Interviews











Use the years above to take the site back in time and use the menu below for more details about the center during that year.



Supply Chain Project and Indiana’s Furniture Manufacturers
Professors Svenja Sommer and Ananth Iyer
Coordinator: Amanda Thompson
Research Assistant: Justine Mikals

Decisions made by the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) have a direct effect on the state’s economic development potential and on its furniture industry, according to project results. Researchers examined the location of the state’s furniture manufacturers, the mode of transportation they use, and the impact of proposed highway expansion or construction. They concluded that most of the market is out of state, and that the growth of component imports makes long-distance transportation and efficient connection to major interstates increasingly important. Speed of delivery, lower transport costs, and an Indiana-level supply chain view, are integral to maintaining a competitive position.

The project suggested a number of improvements. Several of the larger companies could benefit from the speed and lower cost of a rail hub for inbound shipments; at present, rail is rarely used by the furniture industry cluster in Indiana. The report also concluded that INDOT decisions regarding whether to extend I-69 into southern Indiana and to complete a loop around Jasper could have significant impact, as much of Indiana’s furniture industry is located in this portion of the state. The report identified issues with the communication exchange process between industry and the state, and suggested room for improvement.

Saint-Gobain Containers

Bulk to Case Project
Professor Ananth Iyer
Graduate Students: Yatin Anand and Brian Maeng
Saint-Gobain Executive: Robert Pedrazzi

Saint-Gobain provides bottles for the West Coast wine industry and provides customized cases (called UPIDs) to their customers. This has resulted in a product line with more than 300 different glass mould/color combinations and the related complication of more than 3,000 SKUs and an increasing complexity of operation. Saint-Gobain sought to maintain its service level while reducing its inventory. An analysis of the inventory showed that a low volume of SKU’s generated a high level of inventory relative to business volume. Using a mathematical model that anticipated demand, the solution generated savings related to a reduction of external warehousing, more direct shipping from the plants, elimination of repacking costs for the mould program, a decrease in carton overage, and better lead-time for customers.

Coast Guard

Analysis of HH-60 PDM
Throughput at U.S. Coast Guard
Professors Vinayak Deshpande and Ananth Iyer
Graduate Intern: Abhishek Panditrao
U.S. Coast Guard: CDR Carl Riedlin

The U.S. Coast Guard repair facility at Elizabeth City, North Carolina, overhauls 42 aircraft, each on a four-year cycle of scheduled maintenance. Six aircraft are overhauled each year, a process that includes disassembly, repairs, repainting, and reassembly. In the fourth project in a five-year relationship with the Coast Guard, the DCMME/GSCMI faculty team’s research challenge was to find a way for the repair facility to increase its overhaul rate to nine aircraft per year on the same four-year maintenance cycle and to prepare for a conversion in 2007 of all HH60 aircraft to the Tango version. The research team built a simulation model of the aircraft overhaul and maintenance process and examined different ways of increasing throughput. It also had to identify and reduce the sources of variability in the overhaul process and find ways to minimize the lifetime cost of ownership of the aircraft. The resulting information provided to the Coast Guard included analytical/Operations Research methodologies and tools to support decision making and streamline the PDM process. In return, the project has benefited DCMME by supporting research over the last four years for six graduate interns during the summer and one doctoral dissertation, while also providing faculty with new research problem contexts that have led to publications in such eminent journals as Operations Research. Recently Dr. Vinayak Deshpande and DCMME/GSCMI Center Director Dr. Ananth Iyer were presenters, together with Krannert alumni and USCG officers CDR Carl Reidlin, LCDR Kent Everingham and LCDR Mike Shirk, at the final round of the Franz Edelman Award for best applied research in Operations Research.

As finalists, Purdue/Krannert and the U.S. Coast Guard were inducted into the Franz Edelman Academy, recognized as Edelman Laureates at the INFORMS Practice conference in Vancouver on April 30, 2007. The presentation titled “Operations Research Enhanced Supply Chain Management at the U.S. Coast Guard Aircraft Repair and Supply Center” summarized four projects over the last six years completed jointly with the US Coast Guard, and generated rich financial, operational and social results. The DCMME/GSCMI Centers are proud to be associated with such influential research, as we partner with the strength of Krannert alumni and the might of America’s heroes in the U.S. Coast Guard.


Vehicle Routing Optimization
Professors Mohit Tawarmalani,
Yanjun Li and Ananth Iyer
Graduate Student: Yatin Anand

OFS is an Indiana furniture manufacturer that makes 2,000 deliveries each week to locations across the country. Routing is currently done by manually entering zip codes in mapping software and leaving the choice of driving directions to the truckers. The challenge was to reduce the miles driven by the delivery trucks, satisfy customer commitments, and integrate an East Coast Distribution Center (ECDC) into the model and study its impact on the routing structure. With a heuristic solution process, the research team generated an optimal sequence for all stops. An integer program was used to pack the trucks. MapPoint was then used to sequence stops.

Project scheduling and an insertion algorithm were also employed. The results eliminated 12 trucks and reduced driving distance by 28,678 miles, resulting in a potential savings of 10.52 percent. The results also suggested that the addition of an East Coast distribution center would lead to an increase in inventory turns at the plant warehouse, lower lead times for deliveries to the East Coast, and allow for the use of smaller, more fuel-efficient trucks within a 100- mile radius of the distribution center.

Fairfield Manufacturing

Improve quotation process for new jobs
Professor Ananth Iyer
Center Managing Director: Mary Pilotte
Graduate Students: Ghazi Saleem, Mark Vymyslicky, and Odien Xu

Streamlining and optimizing highly specialized resources to more effectively evaluate and process incoming requests for new job quotations was the objective of this project. Although the existing process was a highly documented ISO process, issues of turnover and strained business conditions, sometimes lead to less than optimal paths. Their process resulted in overworking some quotations, reworking quotations that were essentially identical to past quotations, and quoting most every job opportunity.

This project involved “as is” and “could be” process mapping to offer streamlined processing for the customer. It also involved creating a quotation scorecard that engaged all key stakeholders early in the process, so the best business decision could be made on resource allocation. Finally, improvement recommendations were made revolving around database management and access, organizational ownership of the process, and methods for continuous improvement going forward. This project was prepared in 4 months from start to final executive report out and the presentation of deliverables.