Aug. 19, 2004
Vol. 23 No. 20

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    DeHoratius named 2004 Batten scholar

    By Jessamine Chan
    Graduate School of Business

    Nicole DeHoratius, Assistant Professor of Operations Management in the Graduate School of Business, was named a 2004 Batten scholar and was honored at the Frank Batten Young Scholars Forum in OIT (Operations and Information Technology) earlier this month at the College of William & Mary School of Business.

    Organizers of the forum select Batten scholars based on their collaborators, their published articles, and the impact and quality of their research.

    The forum brings together junior faculty from around the country for a mini-conference to foster collaborative work, create professional networks and strengthen existing professional relationships.

    “I’m grateful for the opportunity to present my work in a forum that was supportive and extremely willing to provide detailed feedback,” said DeHoratius. “It was an honor to be part of this group.”

    DeHoratius’ research examines execution problems in retail supply chains. At the forum, she presented a talk titled “Inventory Record Inaccuracy and Retail Supply Chain Defects.”

    Operational and merchandising plans can often fail because of human error, inappropriate incentive design, or both. Poor execution in retail supply chains has been identified as one cause of poor retail performance. One particular outcome of poor execution is inventory record inaccuracy—the mismatch between the actual and recorded inventory level per item in a store, distribution center or inventory in transit. Retailers have invested substantial amounts of money in information technology, and the lack of accurate, timely and consistent information presents a major obstacle for the effective application of these new technologies.

    “Regardless of the technology used, retail supply chains have to focus on ‘sweating the details’—ensuring that employees are executing multiple tasks throughout the day and throughout the supply chain consistently and reliably, day-in and day-out,” said DeHoratius.

    “Managers recognize the importance of having accurate inventory records and the need to eliminate the process failures that cause these records to differ from physical reality. I hope my research can help managers focus on the data and encourage them to analyze the root causes of problems in the supply-chain process.”

    DeHoratius’ other research examines the role of incentives for the effective management of retail supply chains. She is interested in exploring potential manufacturer-retailer collaborations for improved execution and greater product availability.

    DeHoratius joined the GSB faculty in 2001. She earned an A.B. in history and science from Harvard University in 1990, an M.Sc. in technology and innovation management from the University of Sussex, SPRU in 1994, and a D.B.A. in technology and operations management from Harvard University in 2002.

    Conference sponsor Frank Batten is the retired chairman of Landmark Communications, Inc. and TeleCable Corporation. Currently he is chairman of the executive committee at Landmark. He serves on the Advisory Board of the School of Business at the College of William & Mary.