A rapidly changing, competitive marketplace along with the growing complexity of manufacturing systems makes it extremely critical to plan and schedule effectively. While in the past companies were stable enough to have the logisticians learn from experience and execute based on their judgment, it is continually more difficult for such approaches to provide cutting edge performance. Although long-range planning and supply chain decisions are somewhat automated with sophisticated algorithms, currently short term scheduling is still carried out by individuals, often using spreadsheets. The strides in theoretical research have had limited impact on actual practice. This talk aims at discussing why these barriers exist and attempt to offer proven solution techniques and insights to develop applicable computational methods for real-world scheduling problems.

Sudharshana Apte is a Research Scientist with the Modeling and Simulation department at Altria Client Services, where she leverages prescriptive analytical tools that model real-world dynamic systems to drive business decisions. Her core expertise lies in developing solutions for scheduling problems found in the consumer packaged goods industry. She is motivated by the applicability of the research problems she pursues and has a key role at Altria in providing actionable insights that result in improved process efficiencies and cost savings. Sudharshana holds a PhD in Systems Modeling and Analysis from Virginia Commonwealth University and Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering from Anna University, India. Her commitment to promote underrepresented groups has her serving as the President of the Forum for Women in Operations Research and Management Science (WORMS) and as the Professional Development Coordinator for the Asian American and Pacific Islander employee resource group (EAST) at Altria.