Our focus is on the healthcare and global manufacturing domains, where significant change is needed for enterprises to remain competitive, and perhaps even solvent. The goal is first to understand the forces driving the need for change and the current (or As-Is) state and structure of the organization and then specify the To-Be organization, as well as the transformation plan in terms of intents, scope and means.
The cost of healthcare in the United States, as a percentage of GDP, has been steadily increasing for many years and far exceeds the costs of other developed nations. Unfortunately, the quality of care in the U.S. is not comparable to that of other developed nations, especially for chronic rather than acute health problems and especially for lower income people. The overarching difficulty is that the “system” is basically an immense federation of entrepreneurs with no one in charge. More formally, healthcare in the U.S. is a complex adaptive system. Our initial models of this complex system have shown that two issues underlie the system’s deficiencies - information and incentives. Operational information does not flow efficiently among the elements of the system. Further, the vast amount of information generated daily is not used to provide an evidence base for affordable, quality healthcare. Incentives in the U.S. healthcare system are not aligned with enhancing affordability and quality. Providers are reimbursed for their activities rather than their health outcomes. The pressures to reduce costs significantly undermine the possibilities for enhancing value, particularly in the sense that a healthy, productive population is important to global competitiveness. Our research focuses on developing mathematical/computational models of the healthcare system, including serious games, and using them to inform policy and management, by demonstrating the economic impacts of providing better information and different incentives to patients, providers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Our models are benchmarked against various national databases, as well as applied in specific areas such as diabetes, traumatic brain injury and public health.
For a number of years, manufacturing companies have been rationalizing their business and production processes, and outsourcing those processes which can be done more effectively or efficiently by other companies. Outsourced processes typically have been well defined activities, such as accounting, payroll, or the manufacture of a specific part or subsystem. This type of collaboration is very well defined, and can be handled by traditional contracting practices. A new trend is emerging in which the nature of collaboration is dramatically changed - in Network Centric Manufacturing (NCM) many firms collaborate across the spectrum of activities from product development and design, through manufacturing, to product support during useful life, to end-of-life treatment. In NCM, processes located in different companies, different continents, and speaking different languages are expected to interact as if they were co-located and speaking a single language. NCM raises a number of fundamental questions, from the design of collaborative manufacturing networks, to the strategies for managing them, to the technical details of process interfaces and process controls. These questions, in turn, pose fundamental challenges to our ability to model such systems, to discover, articulate, capture, create, and re-use relevant knowledge, and to provide the kinds of decision support needed in such large scale, collaborative systems. Examples of the kinds of research being conducted include helping a major automobile company envision the factory of 2030 and begin to develop the organizational structure, strategies, skills and methods to create and operate that factory; helping a major aerospace company develop the global delivery system needed to support network centric manufacture of a next-generation aircraft; or helping a major aerospace company develop a model-based approach to facility development that will parallel the model based approach to new airplane development. Our research on global manufacturing depends on solid knowledge and skills in the traditional operations research (OR) methods (decision analysis, statistics, stochastic processes, and optimization), along with strong skills in modeling and simulation, enthusiasm for computation, and good people skills.