I am pleased to announce that last Wednesday, Parvaneh Jahani successfully defended her dissertation entitled, “Dynamic Warehouse Optimization Using Predictive Analytics.” Congratulations Parvaneh — Dr. Jahani!

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Dr. Parvaneh Jahani, with the LoDI Victory Bell.

Shortly after I arrived to UofL, I was told that Parvaneh might be interested in working on logistics problems. She had already done some initial work in quality, so I encouraged her to continue with her current area of research and not to change topics. Nevertheless, she insisted that she wanted a topic in logistics, so we began The Search.

Eventually she identified the simple question: “When a slot goes empty in the forward picking area of a warehouse, what should replace it?” The standard answer to that question is, “the same sku that it held before,” but Parvaneh was interested in how the skus in the forward area might change over time as demand changes. For example, perhaps the empty slot would be better used for a new sku experiencing strong demand. How should one make these decisions?

In practice, most warehouses establish a forward area based on historical demand, then managers worry continually if it’s time to “reslot the forward area.” Parvaneh’s research answers this and many related questions. Most important, she develops an algorithm that changes the composition of the forward area continuously, in order to reflect current demand patterns. Papers on these topics are on the way.

I am also pleased to report that Parvaneh has taken a challenging position at Intelligrated, a large material handling systems integrator near Cincinnati, where she is working on several interesting topics, including those related to her dissertation.

I wish you the best of success, Parvaneh!

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