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Supply Chain Analytics

Rutgers University via Coursera


Welcome to Supply Chain Analytics - the art and science of applying data analytics to assess and improve supply chain performance!

A supply chain is a complex system with conflicting objectives of cost efficiency and customer satisfaction. Supply chain management is becoming increasingly data driven. Through the real-life story and data of a major US telecommunication company, you will learn the analytics tools / skills to diagnose and optimize a supply chain. Upon completion of this course, you will be able to

1. Use data analytics to assess the impact of various strategies on all aspects of a supply chain, from inventory, shipping, to warehouse order fulfillment, store operations and customer satisfaction.
2. Customize the supply chain strategy by product to improve the overall cost efficiency without sacrificing customer service.
3. Obtain hands-on experience on the application and financial impact of analytics in integrated supply chain and logistics planning.

VASTA (name disguised) is a major wireless carrier in the US selling cell phones through a national network of retail stores. Recently, it wrote off a huge amount of obsolete inventory each year and was suffering a significant cost inefficiency in an increasingly stagnant market. VASTA must assess the competitive environment, and renovate its supply chain to stay competitive. At the end of this course, you will help VASTA save $billions on supply chain cost and retain its leadership in a stagnant and saturated market.

I hope you enjoy the course!


  • Welcome!
    • Welcome to Supply Chain Analytics! In this week, I shall first tell you the story of VASTA and the challenge it faces, then provide an overview of the course, learning outcomes and weekly topics. You will then learn competitive analysis and benchmarking to assess a firm’s competitive environment and identify the business opportunity.
  • General Principles and Intuition
    • In Week 2, you will understand the general principles of supply chain planning, and develop intuitions on the benefits and concerns of the push / pull strategies. The intuitions and insights will guide you in the quantitative supply chain analysis in Week 3.
  • Data Collection, Cost Estimation and Supply Chain Analytics
    • In Week 3, you will learn what data to collect, how to estimate various types of costs, and how to use data analysis to assess the impact of various strategies on different aspects of a supply chain.
  • Customer Experience, Implementation and Project
    • In Week 4, you will learn how to assess the impact of the strategies on customer experience. You will get hands-on experience on the implementation and financial impact of supply chain analytics in a real-life example. You will complete this course by conducting a project to analyze the geographic difference for the strategies.

Taught by

Yao Zhao

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