Professor's Book Explores Supply Chains for Perishable Products

June 13, 2013

A new book by Isenberg professor Anna Nagurney and members of her research team examines supply chain models and analytics for perishable, time sensitive  products, including food, blood supplies, fashion apparel, and nuclear materials in health diagnostics. In the book, Networks against Time: Supply Chain Analytics for Perishable Products  (Springer) Nagurney, who is John F. Smith Memorial Professor of Operations Management, is joined by Ladimer Nagurney and recent Isenberg Management Science Ph.D. graduates Min Yu and Amir Masoumi.


Networks against Time's robust methodology for improving efficiency in complex networks incorporates special constraints of perishability and time sensitivity. The book's model of fresh produce supply chains accounts for spoilage and discarding costs. Its model of blood supply chains incorporates discarding costs associated with waste/disposal and uncertainty associated with demand points. Each of the book's product studies includes a case study.


"Supply chain networks have emerged as the backbone of economic activities in the modern world," notes Nagurney. "They may span thousands of miles, involve numerous interacting decision makers, and be underpinned by multimodal transportation and telecommunication networks," she continues. "Their importance to the timely and efficient delivery of products as varied as food, energy, pharmaceuticals, clothing, computer hardware, and even toys, has fueled an immense interest in their analysis. When supply chain disruptions occur, whether due to natural disasters, human error, attacks, or even market failure, the ramifications can propagate and impact the health and well-being of the citizenry," adds Nagurney, who is director of the Virtual Center for Supernetworks at Isenberg.


A faculty member in Isenberg's Department of Operations & Information Management (OIM), Nagurney immerses students in supply chain modeling and management in her popular course, Logistics and Transportation. She also offers the innovative course, Humanitarian Logistics & Healthcare, devoted to crisis preparedness and management. Emphasizing supply chain management as an upward-trending core competency, Isenberg's OIM department also regularly offers Supply Chain Management, Business Processes and Enterprise Systems, Business Intelligence, and related courses to Isenberg students.