Following the Stochastic Model – Light Bulbs in India

So when we last left off our team was preparing for our first presentation to our India CAP client. In order to reduce inventory storage levels and maximize storage space at an Gurgoan, India automotive lighting plant, our team has worked to get supply data, product manufacturing data, and packaging/storage details for the plant’s production of automotive headlamps. After weeks of pulling teeth to get all the necessary specs, we presented a mock-up of our inventory optimization model to the client.

Simulation Model

Inventory levels and demand data for our CAP India Project.

I will not say that the presentation went as we had hoped. The response we received was underwhelming, honestly. It was harder than expected to explain how the model operated and we found ourselves getting way into the weeds trying to explain all of its function. But then…ever so slowly…a light bulb went off in our client’s head, and he could see how the model might help him to forecast his supply needs. Then quickly we were in business! He began to see the value of our model and understand what additional information we would need to make the model operational for his needs.

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Difficult Skype call with the client. Sad faces. 😦

HUGE breakthrough. For several weeks, our efforts to get to the bottom of the problem have seemed futile and the client’s lack of responsiveness inevitable. But we turned a corner with this presentation. Once we were able to present him with a model, he could understand the potential benefit of our work. I wouldn’t say that we ended the call cheering and slapping high-fives. If anything we now need more data to make the model right and we’re running out of time. Yet, the breakthrough from our client was invaluable.

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Team #3 India CAP huddle: (left to right) Ebony, Morgan, Jumaan, Tom

We’re working to provide recommendations to improve their business model. We may not have a succinct answer at the end of this, but our hope is to offer new ideas that spur thought and then action to optimize inventory. We hope the light bulbs keep going off for us and our client, and that we can continue to dig deeper to provide value to the company.

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Jumaan presenting our solution framework to the class.

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Responding to Dr. Kanungo’s questions.

 

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