Demand management in global supply chains
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In this thesis, we investigate the potential of improving demand management activities in the global supply chains. In the increasingly global world, commerce is becoming more complex with an incredible amount of internal and external information available for businesses to select, analyze, understand and react. We identify opportunities for companies to convert data and business information into actionable intelligence. We first study the logistics industry with real data. In the Less-than-Truckload (LTL) market, we analyze an extensive historical shipment database to identify important factors to estimate LTL market rates. Quantifying critical expert knowledge, we develop a price estimation model to help shippers reduce their logistics cost and carriers to better manage their demand. In our second study, we analyze a global supply chain in the high tech industry. Using the demand dependency structure of certain products, we identify collaboration opportunities in the ordering practices that results in increased forecast accuracy. In our third study, we focus on using historical product adoption patterns for developing good pre-launch forecasts for new product introductions. Through a normalization approach and algebraic estimation procedures that use intuitive parameters, our models provide opportunities to significantly improve pre-launch forecast accuracy. Finally, in our fourth study, we develop novel approaches for modeling and mitigating the impact of demand seasonality in new product diffusion context. Focusing mainly on practical applications, our research shows that companies can find innovative ways for turning raw data into valuable insights leading to better demand management activities.