I have a particular interest in constrained optimization problems, as I find them to be some of the most natural problems in mathematics that have clear real world applications. Having worked at a medium sized warehouse and sold on Amazon, I’ve come to find supply chain problems of particular interest. Perhaps I have an operations research career ahead of me, or more likely I’ve just solved a problem that’s already been solved. But, I did this completely on my own and I enjoyed the challenge. Took me about 3 hours from start to finish, and that included generating fake order data.
I set out to provide a framework to help placing orders from suppliers, while trying to minimize risk. I thought of two main types of risk: excess lead times and QA defection rate. The first case handles when orders have a greater lead time than promised, which could cause further issues in manufacturing or production. The second case represents that quality of the products a particular supplier delivers. Lower cost may be indicative of higher rates of bad product. My framework looks to provide an optimal order of K products among N warehouses.