Forecasting in different operational environments

This research project is available across the ESRC Wales (DTP). Find out more information about the DTP and how to apply.

Application deadline: 1 February 2018

Start date: October 2018

Seeing the future: forecasts and decision making in different operational environments

Background

Inaccurate forecasting causes a wide range of problems across different industries. Most importantly, there is the issue of excessive inventories, which, if not managed appropriately can lead to tremendous unnecessary investments in stock, and obsolescence. Then, there is the issue of capacity. Forecasting of capacity is a major issue in engineering related disciplines, such as civil engineering. For example, there are concerns that supply chains will not have the capacity to deliver ambitious government investment in infrastructure. Both issues scale up to huge societal and economic costs at the macro level.

Forecasting can be managed via statistical techniques, or via sensing/judgemental approaches, or a combination. However, across industries and operational environments, the appropriate combination of such approaches is not clear, and judgemental processes are poorly understood.

Project aims and methods

Building on some of our long term organisational collaborations, this project will involve close engagement with senior practitioners in Panalpina (www.panalpina.com), Costain (www.costain.com) and Markes (www.markes.com). These 3 organisations face very different forecasting environments, so we pose the following research question:

‘What forecasting approaches are appropriate for different operational environments?’

In addressing this question, the PhD project will build a link between Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Management. The student will be encouraged to spend periods of time based in each organisation, understanding their forecasting processes in-depth. It is expected that the research will deploy a multimethod research methodology using both qualitative and quantitative data collection.

The successful student will work closely with a leading team of academics, established organisational links, and director level input from organisations who will feed into a steering committee. You will also benefit by being embedded within the Panalpina Centre for Manufacturing and Logistics Research, an industry funded centre of excellence at Cardiff, and opportunities arising from Costain’s award winning graduate scheme. This PhD prepares you for a future career in industry and/or academia.

Supervisors

Jonathan Gosling

Dr Jonathan Gosling

Reader in Supply Chain Management, Deputy Head of Section for Innovation and Research

Email:
goslingj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6081
Aris Syntetos

Professor Aris A. Syntetos

Chair in Operational Research and Operations Management, The Panalpina Chaired Professor of Manufacturing and Logistics

Email:
syntetosa@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 6572
Mohamed Naim

Professor Mohamed Naim

Deputy Dean of the Cardiff Business School, Professor in Logistics and Operations Management, Co-Director of CAMSAC

Email:
naimmm@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
+44 (0)29 2087 4635

Programme information

For programme structure, entry requirements and how to apply, visit the programme.

View programme
Meet us at our Information Fair on 22 February 2018.

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