Fogelman College of Business and Economics
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Mehdi Amini

Human Supply Chain Management: Employee Recruitment and Retention in the Navy

A group of researchers is developing simulation models to study the complex “human supply chain” at the US Navy. The simulation modeling effort focuses on processes and activities involved in recruiting, training, fleet assignment, and contract renewal of sailors.

The main objective of this research is to understand the dynamic and stochastic behavior of this complex system and study the impact of a host of alternative recruiting, training, fleet assignment, and contract renewal strategies. The ultimate goal of the study is to improve the effectiveness of this “human” supply chain from time, cost, and quality perspectives. Considering the fact that the US Navy personnel budget is $25B, a few percentage improvements in the cost associated with this human supply chain may save taxpayers millions of dollars.

The project is sponsored by: $500K research grant from Department of Defense & the U.S. Navy and involves researchers from the Fogelman College of Business & Economics, Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL), FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management, and Navy Personnel, Research, Studies and Technology.

The research team comprises Dr. Mehdi Amini (mamini@memphis.edu, Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL) and Department of Marketing and SCM), Dr. Mike Racer (Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL) and Department of Marketing and SCM), Dr. Brian Janz (FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management and Department of Management Information Systems), Dr. David Allen (Department of Management), Dr. Ernie Nichols (FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management and Department of Marketing and SCM), Nagendra Rao (MBA Student, FCBE), and Kalyani Jala (MBA student, FCBE).

Service Adoption Processes in Social Network Structures

Researchers in the Fogelman College of Business and Economics are employing the latest modeling and simulation methodologies to investigate business problems under the auspices of the eSOL (enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab) at FedEx Center for Supply Chain Management. The technology of agent-based modeling is being used to study how macro-level phenomena emerge from micro-level activities.

Agent-based modeling methodology makes study of non-linear and complex system behaviors more feasible, providing new horizons for theory development and application in different areas of business.

The first project of this interdisciplinary research program focuses on the role of consumer word of mouth in the adoption process of a new service in two different social network structures. This project will generate and validate a service diffusion model based on the current research literature in areas of word of mouth, services, diffusion of innovations, and social networks.

The research team comprises Dr. Mehdi Amini (mamini@memphis.edu, eSOL, Department of Marketing and SCM), Dr. Daniel Sherrell (Department of Marketing and SCM), Dr. Emin Babakus (Department of Marketing and SCM), and Mohammad Nejad (Ph.D. student in Marketing).

Understanding Child Development

Researchers at the University of Memphis are researching ways to lower the human, social and economic costs caused by the risk factors influencing child development.

The research team associated with the Fogelman College and Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL) is involved in a research program focusing on infusion of advanced technology in energizing community child research.

Simulation and Optimization Modeling (SOM) is one of the key technology introduced to study the socioeconomic impact of major risks confronting normal development of children. Among these major risk factors included in the modeling effort are family structure, poverty, preterm births, drug use, school dropout, crime involvement, teenage pregnancy, and premature death.

For a given community, the SOM technology allows researchers to use computer simulations to study interconnectedness of these risk factors and compare the impact of proposed alternative intervention strategies toward reducing these risk factors.

The first study conducted within this research program focused on simulation modeling and analysis of preterm birth and compared the socio-economic impact of this phenomena in Memphis versus the entire country. One of the key findings shows that the estimated socio-economic costs of 100,000 births in Memphis will be $130 million more than the same estimate at the national level.

The second study enhances the scope of simulation modeling effort to better understand the impact of other major risk factors in an integrated fashion. Also, it will investigate socio-economic impacts of alternative intervention policies to reduce or eliminate the level of these risk factors.

The research is sponsored by a $100,000 research grant from the Urban Child Institute.

The research team comprises Dr. Mehdi Amini (mamini@memphis.edu, Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL) and Department of Marketing and SCM), Dr. Mike Racer (Enterprise Simulation and Optimization Lab (eSOL) and Department of Marketing and SCM), and Nagendra Rao (MBA Student, FCBE).

Read more about FCBE research


Mehdi Amini

Mehdi Amini

Read more about FCBE research

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Last Updated: 1/23/12