Process and operational flexibility have been widely applied in many industries as competitive strategies to improve responsiveness to demand uncertainty. This talk addresses the problem of managing process and operational flexibility in a fairly general manufacturing system. In our model, each plant might have a different cost for adding flexibility or extra capacity, and different costs for transporting its different products. We model this problem as an adaptive optimization problem and discuss different approaches to solve it efficiently. One of the features of our model is that it captures information about the uncertainty in the demand; different demand uncertainties lead to different design suggestions. We conclude this talk with several computational and theoretical results.
Hoda Bidkhori is a lecturer and postdoctoral associate in the Operations Research and Statistics group at MIT's Sloan School of Management. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from MIT. Her current research centers around the development and implementation of robust and computationally tractable solutions for problems arising in manufacturing and logistics. In particular, she is interested in flexibility in manufacturing, logistics and supply chain network design. She is a recipient of the Roger Family Prizes at MIT for mentorship, and Second and Third Prizes in the 8th and 9th International Competition for University Students.