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Center Projects

Indiana Department of Transportation

The primary objective of the Ohio River Bridges project was to develop a present value analysis by analyzing the funding structure of both INDOT and WVB partners to identify whether the P3 approach of DBFOM is profitable or not. The funding structure includes of the toll revenue projection model (reflective of current traffic patterns), operations and maintenance cost of the bridges. We also did a comparative study of Ohio River bridge with other bridges that have similar features (physical, financial, design, policies, etc.).


project scope: The project aimed at assessing the benefits of building different types of shelters for storing INDOT’s vehicles and other equipment and evaluating the expected ROI to build the shelter by developing a present value analysis. The scenarios (shelter/no shelter) were compared on a simulation developed on JaamSim.


project scope: The key objective of the project was to collect extensive data including employee information, location, skills and core competencies for 270 companies in the 10-county region of Indiana with the goal to develop smart people, smart processes and smart technologies through various resources.


project scope: The WHIN Supply Chain Leakage project aims to solve the issue of the Supply Chain Leakage in the Wabash 10-county region by developing a web database which will allow companies to easily access information about each other and take advantage of products and services available within the region itself resulting in reduced supply chain leakage. The database is being populated with information from participating company websites that will serve as a directory.


project scope: The project aimed at exploring various ways to increase revenue along the interstates in the state of Indiana by collecting data of existing establishments, benchmarking projects undertaken by other DOTs and proposing solutions by taking into account expenditure and space required, revenue generated, and legal framework.


project scope: The key objective of the project was to validate the standardized 2-bin system implemented by Advocate Health- Care to manage the medical supplies inventory in the supply rooms aiming at space optimization, cost efficiency, and reduced product expiration.


project scope: This project focuses on the identification and tracking of all people in the engagement center. In this project, live video feed from cameras set up in the center was used as input. OpenCV algorithm using tensorflow library identified and tracked people.


project scope: The project aims to identify the global technological trends with the potential to transform logistics and transportation in industries and their expected overall economic impact. It also aims to analyze Indiana’s industrial landscape to identify key players adopting and driving these technologies and to understand their perception of these technologies. The team will map the impact of these technologies on INDOT’s future projects, decision making processes, and identify key partners within the state.


project scope: In this project we will be leveraging video analytics to perform crowd analysis over visitors in a room. The objective of the project is to detect and count the number of people in a room every 15 minutes. Live feed and images from pre-installed cameras will be processed by the algorithm, providing us the number of people at that instance in the room.


project scope: The project aimed at assessing the benefits of building different types of shelters for storing INDOT’s vehicles and other equipment and evaluating the expected ROI to build the shelter by developing a present value analysis. The scenarios (shelter/ no shelter) were compared on a simulation developed on JaamSim.

Procter and Gamble


The European Union grant offered faculty, students and staff a great opportunity to work with Procter and Gamble on projects that included business continuity planning with suppliers, manufacturing synchronization and container visibility optimization. Each of these projects was driven by detailed data and contracts and focused on generating quantitative estimates of the impact of optimizing the system and maximizing impact to the supply chain.

The Business Continuity project was led by Professor Gemma Berenguer. The simulation models for production were led by Professor Olga Senicheva. The manufacturing synchronization and container visibility projects were led by Professor Ananth Iyer. The goal of the synchronization effort was to produce all required orders on a weekly basis i.e., get to a goal of 100% weekly synchronization. But there were some key issues to consider, from differences in packaging, to differences in formulation to line production constraints to forecast variability. In addition, there were setup times that had to be kept track of as production shifted across products. With intense collaboration with P&G managers, and data at a highly granular level, the team produced a mathematical model to optimize the system that permitted both 100% weekly synchronization as well as a close to 5% projected reduction in capacity required. The project provided a great learning experience and will appear in various forms, from class exercises to cases to academic papers in future years. The container visibility project involved a visiting faculty member from Turkey, Professor Cagri Haksoz, and Ananth Iyer. They applied ideas from their past methodological papers to the estimation of the optimal way to use container visibility to improve the supply chain. Their results suggest that waiting to gather data so that it helps in the choice of contingent actions may be preferred to acting too early. Similarly, the decision of when to get this information may depend on how significant the cost of delay is to the system and how expensive the cost of taking corrective steps to remain on schedule. The container visibility project's results are expected to be used to understand the economics of different tracking schemes for global container flows.

Part 1

The P&G Project with Professor Senichiva and Dr. Iyer was initiated to find efficiency gains in the production processes of washing pods manufactured by P&G. The project was divided into four phases: Data clean-up, data analysis, applying agile methodologies, and JaamSim (a simulation software). Data clean-up involved different types of data in various formats that was collected from P&G. Macros were then developed to extract relevant data in specific formats to be analyzed. Next data analysis involved production logs being analyzed to find any trends or gaps in the production processes by checking production units, production time, and capacity utilization. Agile methodologies were then utilized to see if any changes in production processes could provide any efficiency gains. Finally, JaamSim (a simulation software) was utilized throughout the project to visualize the production processes and find any improvements that could be made in the future.

Part 2

Gemma’s group worked with Proctor and Gamble’s (P&G) laundry pod to accomplish a safety stock and inventory analysis for key components, a JaamSim model to visually and analytically simulate supply chain disruptions for different components, a business continuity and risk planning analysis for each supplier, and an optimization model to determine optimal production plans in a global context. The team began the project by looking at different components and identifying the most critical by delay impact, supplier risk, demand variability, and other factors. From there, we created a mathematical model to provide recommendations on optimal inventory levels. The next step was a model created in JammSim, a 3D graphic simulation tool, which visually showed how supply chain disruptions lead to manufacturing delays and the financial impact. This simulation model showed the importance of managing risk which transitioned the project into the third stage. Here we created business continuity plans for each component. This involved conducting a risk analysis of the supplier, the substitutivity of the component, the criticality of the material, and other risk areas. We created a plan for each component of the laundry pods and areas that needs to be particularly monitored. The final part was an optimization model that pulled in data from other parts of the project which enabled us to create optimal production plans for day-to-day production as well as when disruptions occur.

​Part 3

P&G was struggling to synchronize its detergent pods production to meet its current demand. They planned to either make capital investments for expanding their production capacity or optimize their existing production. The latter has been explored as a project by P&G with DCMME to make a small yet effective investment towards this synchronization problem. Initially, the team had first identified bottlenecks in the production process and explored the WIP inventory implications as an effect of shifting the bottleneck to achieve continuous production. This provided uniform running of the production with the least number of changeovers. Later, a linear programming optimization model was created to generate weekly production schedules such that, inclusive of all the changeover times, the total duration of production was minimized. The model created is being cross validated with different line loading scenarios to come to the most optimal solution to this production issue.

WHIN Supply Chain

The WHIN Supply Chain Leakage project is looking for a solution to identify the leakage in the supply chain in the 10-county region for manufacturing companies. The team is collecting information about the parameters that can help identify a supplier or vendor. The three key points that need to be understood are what certifications a company has, whether the company is a retailer/ manufacturer/ distributor, and finally the equipment that the compnay possesses. As of now, the focus is on getting data for the 80 companies through web scraping, and then the process will be replicated for all remaining websites. All data will be put into a searchable database.

WHIN Education

 WHIN Education has built a network of company representatives interested in providing research to develop a global epicenter for agriculture and next-generation manufacturing empowered by smart "Internet of Things" platforms. The team is in the early stages of company interviews and has spread the word through interactive group sessions and a WHIN launch event. In April, WHIN offered a pilot training session, where the team helped to address technology and education issues companies may be facing.

INDOT Shelter

The INDOT Shelter project involves evaluating INDOT's expected return on investment to create covered areas for equipment (vehicles and other assets) and identify alternative ways to create covers for equipment and all the associated costs. Currently, we are collecting data on INDOT's equipment from publicly available records. Using the data, we intend to calculate the payback period of the equipment and compare it to the cost of constructing shelters. Furthermore, the team plans to project the impact of enclosures on equipment maintenance cost and performance, develop management Strategies for equipment need and usage across districts and impact, and benchmark districts against each other to understand best practice. Lastly, the team plans to adjust management incentives to solve the agency problem. At the end of the project, the team presented their findings to INDOT and made recommendations based on the analytical and financial analysis done above.


This project is an after-action review of the overall profitability and success of the collaborative effort of Indiana and Kentucky in developing the Ohio River Bridges Project. Indiana decided to fund its portion of the project by utilizing a Public-Private Partnership, or P3, approach with WVB Partners. There are multiple forms of P3 structures; the Ohio River Bridges Project is Design-Build-Finance- Operate-Maintain (DBFOM) in which the private entity is responsible for the entire construction of the bridge, financing the costs, as well as operating and maintaining the bridge over a specified period of time. The primary benefits of utilizing this option are improved life-cycle costs, improved timeline, and reduction of risk and liability. The team has worked to research and develop a present value analysis of the project by analyzing the funding structure of both INDOT and WVB Partners. They created a toll revenue projection model reflective of current traffic patterns that they also integrated into the overall funding structure. Currently the team is working to create a model to predict the operations and maintenance cost of all bridges involved in the project. Upon completion they will utilize this model in their comparison of the profitability of each party involved in order to quantify the gain or loss seen by INDOT by implementing the P3 structure. This project will move onto analyzing the economic impact and other additional factors affecting the overall evaluation of the bridges’ profitability.

INDOT Economic Development

In the INDOT Economic Development project, the project work is progressing as per the schedule and the team has completed mapping of I-65 and I-70. The mapping includes gas stations, restaurants, rest areas, emergency shelters, truck parking spaces and motels. Moreover, progress has been made on completing the same for I-64 to I-94. Data comparing Federal vs. State owned roads has been compiled. Data on green space from the state tax department has been acquired which will form the base for filtering out state owned green space. This project is in its early stages, and much more data will be compiled in the future.

Advocate Health Care

Advocate Health Care, a leading healthcare services provider in Illinois, has 10 Medical centers where it wanted to reduce inventory costs and associated expenses in addition to eliminating expired product count in these medical centers. This task was challenging because of the necessity of these products for an individual in a hospital and due to the high costs associated with these medical products. Optimizing the inventory levels for improved efficiency and effective cost management proved to be one of the most important focus points for Advocate.

The initial approach was to establish and implement a durable Requisition Infrastructure and improve the receiving processes by adopting Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for receiving the inbound freight and standardizing the receipt verification process. As this gave a better understanding of how the flow should be initiated, the team moved over to redesign the layout of the dock to accommodate the recommended changes. They used AutoCAD and SketchUp extensively to render and create 2D and 3D drawings of the layout for 4 critical centers and ran simulations in JaamSim to predict the improved turnover times. The main objective to was to implement and improve metrics at the 4 critical centers first and then do a site-by-site analysis to suggest changes depending on the current state of the center.

The project team also leveraged a lot of available data to gain insights and make better decisions with respect to the inventory reorder points and quantity. The project team comprised of individuals from Industrial Engineering, Global Supply Chain Management, Data Analytics and Business Management majors.

Inventory Planning System Development

Background information: Zojila is a company that focuses on home products – it designs, outsources manufacturing, holds inventory and uses a combination of direct shipment and ecommerce vendors to satisfy demand. It is a small business located in Lafayette Indiana. Based on discussions with the CEO, various specific questions have been identified that will be addressed by the proposed inventory planning system.

Goal: Develop an inventory planning system for Zojila to enable inventory planning i.e., triggering orders, revising to forecasts, adjusting to supplier changes, kitting etc. Such an inventory planning system will enable proactive inventory management that can enable growth for Zojila. All solutions developed will be implemented and used by Zojila and be driven by the specific products and supply chains used by Zojila.

Market Research for Business Development

Description of services, deliverables, and estimated completion date:

Client is looking to expand their industrial services and are working to align themselves with the Employment First initiatives that are being implemented across the U.S. The client is also seeking to increase and diversify their revenues to become less dependent on state and federal funding. JRDS would like to expand their contract packaging activities and develop advanced capabilities to do more than just manual hand-packaging work, mainly to improve the marketability of their services and to provide a higher level of technical training to their employees. JDRS is specifically looking for assistance with market research and business/marketing planning.

Financial Analysis and Process Improvement, Premier Auto DetailingPremier Auto Detailing

Student Team: Joey Meisberger, Taylor Haws, Matt Jung, Gisela Condado, Pablo Martinez, Akshit Bajpai

Advisor: Steven Dunlop

Project Description: Premier Auto Detailing was established in 2003, and is a local car wash and detailing facility located in Lafayette, Indiana. Premier Auto Detailing services both local businesses and the greater Lafayette community. Premier Auto Detailing partnered with the Dauch Center to obtain an improved understanding of their current financial situation and to obtain innovative ways to improve their current operational processes. The financial analysis intended to guide management from Premier Auto Detailing to identify potential problems in their accounting and managerial systems, and the process improvement analysis was intended to find areas of improvement within their operational processes as well as to address any issues that their management team brought up. Multiple cost saving and process improvements were recommended to Premier Auto Detailing, including reducing their number of magazine subscriptions, imposing caps on some of their monthly expenses, implementing a vehicle classification system, and including a web based self-check in on their website. If Premier Auto Detailing implements some of these recommendations, we believe that they will see direct benefits from these cost saving and process improvement measures. This will be an ongoing collaboration between Premier Auto Detailing and the Dauch Center.

Intermodal Analysis, Caterpillar  (2014-2015)

Student Team: Xinlan Fang, Priyanka Govindraj, Luojing Liu, Yunyang Liu, Junchao Yang

Faculty Advisor: Amy David

Project Description: Students fromA the Fall 2014 Experiential Learning course in Operations Management analyzed various transportation options for inbound shipments to Caterpillar’s Lafayette location. The team developed an algorithm to find the volume breakpoint for rail transportation from each key supplier and further investigated both the feasibility and environmental impact of rail transportation.

Accessories Product Chain Improvement, Allegion  (2014-2015)

Student Team: Leo Fu, Dongfang Wu, Jennifer Lu, Yang Liu

Faculty Advisor: Amy David

Project Description: The student team was tasked with improving lead times for finished goods in the “accessories” category. The team first analyzed the product chains to identify components with long lead times, prioritizing those with the largest dependent demand quantities. They then recommended inventory policy and sourcing changes to alleviate the issues identified.

Supply Chain Improvement, Allegion (2013-2014)

Student Team: Ji Lei, Pengyu (Peter) Zhai, Meng-i (Nathan) Chou, Juan Jose Guerrero

Faculty Advisor: Sang-Phil Kim

Project Description: Allegion, an international company, focuses on manufacturing security products and providing security solution for homes and business. It is made up of 27 global brands including CISA, Interflex, LCN, Schlage and Von Duprin. The $2 billion company employs around 8000 people and sells products in more than 120 countries across the world. Confronted with the fact that market and product grow fast, it has become critical to consider how to continuously decrease cost. In this project, the team implemented a clustering algorithm to identify the opportunities to consolidate the screw packs. They also conducted make/buy analysis to seek opportunities to decrease cost.

Warehouse Optimization Project, Caterpillar (2013-2014)

Student Team: Yoshitake Tajima, Meng Zhang, Qi Zhang

Faculty Advisor: Sang-Phil Kim

Project Description: Caterpillar Inc. is an American corporation which designs, manufacturers, markets and sells machinery and engines and sells financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar Inc. traces its origins to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity: the California based Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the company re-organized itself as a Delaware corporation under the current name —Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. With more than US$89 billion in assets, Caterpillar was ranked number one in its industry and number 44 overall in the 2009 Fortune 500. The Caterpillar manufacturing plant in Lafayette, Indiana was opened in 1982, and has since become the company’s main source for medium-speed diesel engines for marine, petroleum, electric power, locomotive and industrial applications.  Producing Caterpillar’s most well recognized and durable engines, the 3500 and 3600/C175 series engines, the Lafayette Engine Center now consists of 1.3 million square feet (123,000 square meters).

Caterpillar Inc. eliminated one of the three logistics buildings within Lafayette area a month ago. The current local logistics warehouse structure supporting production is made up of two logistics building called VMPE and 30th ST. This project developed an algorithm and process to evaluate the most cost efficient storage location and resulting local shuttle routes to maximize shuttle usage while supporting build needs. The team established a dynamic model for consolidating the production inventory into two of the warehouses, which includes three potential reallocation policies that could be selected in the light of changing demand. 

Supply Chain Strategies, The Chao Center

Student team: : Bin Gao (MSGSCM 2013), Sai Gao (MSGSCM 2013), Angelica Rodriquez, Yanbing Shi (MSGSCM 2013)

Faculty Advisor: Julia Kalish

Project Description: The Chao Center is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, within the Purdue Research Park. It is the only facility approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to manufacture and market Seromycin®, a lifesaving treatment for Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Currently, the Chao Center is facing several challenges regarding the sales of Seromycin®; sales have been dropping during the past several years due to competitors with lower prices and a reduction in the number of TB cases. In order to increase their market share, the Chao Center needs to reduce their selling price to compete with the rest of the market. Team members Bin Gao, Sai Gao, Angelica Rodriguez, and Yanbing Shi from Purdue University’s Global Supply Chain Management program assisted the Chao Center in tackling these issues. The team analyzed several cost components for the Seromycin® capsules along with the Chao Center’s current supply chain strategies to identify opportunities for improvements in those areas. Optimization of the Chao Center’s supply chain, consequently reducing cost, was recommended by the Purdue team. Specifi cally, this included stabilizing the customer demand to minimize the risk due to demand uncertainty; ordering the amount of raw materials required to meet the customer demand; switching to a diff erent transportation method for raw materials; and negotiating with third parties to split the transportation cost. Finally, the plan included optimizing the truck capacity by changing the shipping load units. For the cost analysis, the team used past sales data for Seromycin® to forecast next year sales and to determine diff erent demand scenarios. Afterwards, diff erent alternatives were developed to compare the total cost per capsule for each of the demand scenarios. The analysis showed that total cost per capsule dropped signifi cantly with changes in negotiation contracts, which attests to ordering raw materials according to the demand forecast instead of purchasing the minimum order quantities required from the suppliers. Furthermore, the cost per capsule can be reduced by sharing truck capacity with third parties and in turn splitting transportation costs. This demonstrates the importance of how supply chain strategies can impact the overall cost of the product, and consequently, the customer demand for that product since the Chao Center will be able to have the same price, or even a lower price than its competitors which can potentially improve their sales for Seromycin®.

Pareto Carries Based on Shipping Times, CaterpillarFaculty student directed projects group

Student team: Saurabh Arora (MBA 2013), Yipin Lu (MBA 2013), Debdeep Roy (MBA 2013), Jing Zhao (MBA 2013)

Faculty Advisor: Qi Annabelle Feng

Project Description: Caterpillar Inc. also known as "CAT" is an American corporation which designs, manufactures, markets and sells machinery and engines and sells financial products and insurance to customers via a worldwide dealer network. Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines and industrial gas turbines. With more than US$70 billion in assets, Caterpillar was ranked number one in its industry and number 44 overall in the 2009 Fortune 500. Caterpillar stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Caterpillar Inc. traces its origins to the 1925 merger of the Holt Manufacturing Company and the C. L. Best Tractor Company, creating a new entity; the California based Caterpillar Tractor Company. In 1986, the company re-organized itself as a Delaware corporation under the current name; Caterpillar Inc. Caterpillar's headquarters are located in Peoria, Illinois, United States.

The objective was also to understand the inefficiencies in the supplier network, and to lay out a plan to optimize supplier-shipping network. Based on the information gathered, the optimized network would give rise to higher efficiency. The team worked together to understand the root causes and possible impacts. They collaborated with multiple departments in Caterpillar Lafayette factory, and acquired significant amount of data on transportation times, and routes. They also quantified various areas of concern along with the impacts. After several iterations and modeling exercises, high impact areas were identified, including (1) segments/carriers that caused production schedule disruption due to deviation from the estimated delivery time and (2) specific legs that has variability, since the uncertainty hindered efficient planning, therefore increased costs in multiple areas.

Order Consolidation, Ingersoll Rand

Faculty student directed projects group 2

Student team: KofoAdafin(MBA 2013), Shikhar Agarwal(MBA 2013), Xiaosi Fu(MBA 2013), Pradeep Nallabelli(MBA 2013), Rohan Vohra(MBA 2013)

Faculty Advisor: Qi Annabelle Feng

Project Description: The Ingersoll Rand order consolidation project was created to determine a solution to improve the order consolidation efforts between the various manufacturing sites for the Security-Technologies division in North America. Customers did not want to receive a single order in multiple shipments all arriving on different days. The focus of the project is to analyze several alternatives that would improve or eliminate the problem.

  • Use warehousing to receive goods from different manufacturing sites, and ship completed order
  • Use coordination of ERP systems for scheduling of productions so finished goods from different manufacturing sites arrive to the customer on the same day.
  • Use cross docking and milk runs to consolidate orders when they are ready for delivery.