Presentations to focus on bringing together business and academic communities for solving real-world supply chain challenges in today’s economy

WILMINGTON, DE – September 9, 2008 – IBM’s Ken Fordyce and Supply Chain Consultants’ (SCC) Harpal Singh are teaming up to deliver a presentation as part of a workshop called “Planning Production and Inventories in the Extended Enterprise” sponsored by the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University. The workshop will take place September 21-23, 2008 at the Radisson Hotel in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

“The focus of our presentation is to enable a connection between the business community, which is being faced with a variety of economic challenges, and the academic community, which potentially has tools or methods that can be applied to real-world situations for solving these issues,” said Fordyce, a senior computational decision scientist for IBM. “It’s that ability to go between the business and academic worlds and open a line of communication between the two that is critical, and will ultimately lead us to the next generation of effective supply chain solutions.”

The purpose of the workshop is to bring together leading authorities from academia and industry to discuss the state of supply chain coordination and how to move forward in the future. The workshop will feature presentations on the history of the supply chain, challenges that researchers and practitioners face today, including rising energy and fuel costs and shortages of raw materials, and new ways of working together to solve those challenges.

The overall goal of Fordyce and Singh’s presentation, titled “An Industrial Perspective of Planning and Scheduling,” is to point out how optimization should not be viewed as the improvement of one decision-making point in the supply chain process but should be seen as the improvement of all of the decision-making points in the entire process as well as the process itself. Fordyce and Singh, chief executive officer for SCC, will provide real-world examples of supply chain challenges to show both academia and industry how choices being made throughout the supply chain need to be seen and understood at all levels to provide more efficiency and better sustainability throughout the complete process.

Fordyce and Singh have more than 60 years of collective experience from both the academic and industrial points of view and first collaborated about 10 years ago on a project for IBM. Since 1995, Fordyce has been a leader in the development of applications using advanced optimization models to support daily global supply chain planning for IBM and its clients as well as teaching undergraduates applied modeling. He holds a Ph.D. in Decision Science. Singh is recognized as a thought leader, teacher, writer, software designer, and consultant for process change. In addition to years of industry and consulting experience, he has taught graduate and undergraduate courses and has run numerous executive management seminars. He holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University.


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