Designing Flexibility to Address Uncertainty in the Supply Chain with AI

Designing Flexibility to Address Uncertainty in the Supply Chain with AI

Identifying different sources of uncertainty is critical to designing flexibility in supply chains and are central to the use of modern AI techniques in machine learning and sequential decision analytics. Adaptable inventory staging, substitutable suppliers, modular product designs and flexible processes are all mechanisms that contribute to the resilience of a supply chain.  In addition to identifying mechanisms for flexibility, we need to understand the different sources of uncertainty and the types of exogenous inputs that can affect the performance of the system. At this conference, leaders from industry and academia came together to identify sources of uncertainty and the methods for improving flexibility.

Key takeaways and highlights

Missed the event? Click here to read a post-event write-up or flip through the event photos below or on Flickr.

Designing Flexibility to Address Uncertainty in the Supply Chain with AI

Event details

Date: June 29, 2022
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (CT)
Location: Loyola University, Lewis Towers, Beane Hall, 111 E. Pearson, Chicago, IL


Scott Friesen Scott Friesen
EVP Strategic Analytics
Echo Global Logistics
Derek Gaskins Derek Gaskins
Chief Marketing Officer
Mike Hewitt
Professor, Faculty Director
Supply Chain and Sustainability Center 
Michael Joyce Michael Joyce
SVP Supply Chain Strategy, Inventory and Demand Management
Dollar General
Andy Kettlewell Andy Kettlewell
Group VP Inventory and Analytics
Rajiv Malik Rajiv Malik
EVP Sourcing and Product Services
Kohl’s Corporation
John McCarville John McCarville
Former Senior VP, Global Supply Chain and IT
Griffith Foods Worldwide
Ray Nair Ray Nair
VP, Supply Chain
Maciek Nowak Maciek Nowak
Interim Dean and Professor
Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
Warren Powell Warren Powell
Co-founder and Chief Analytics Officer, Optimal Dynamics
Professor Emeritus, Princeton University
Cerag Pince Cerag Pince
Associate Professor
Quinlan School of Business, Loyola University Chicago
Solomon Ray Solomon Ray
Director, Innovation
Brian Reed Brian Reed
Supply Chain Leader, Global and Strategic Accounts
Amazon Web Services
Wesley Rhodes Wesley Rhodes
VP Technology Transformation & Research and Development
Brook Ruckinski Brook Rucinski
Sr. Director, Inventory Management
W.W. Grainger 
Krishna Chaitanya Sanka Krishna Chaitanya Sanka
Lead Data and Applied Scientist
Federico Sciammarella  Federico M. Sciammarella
President and CTO
Thomas Siegmund Tom Siegmund
Founder and Chairman
Harvest Sporting Group
James Sutton James Sutton
Co-Founder and CTO
Annie Valkova Annie Valkova
Associate Partner
McKinsey & Company 
Brooke Wagner Brooke Wagner
SVP Merchandise Planning and Allocation
Designer Brands 


8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Conference Intro
8:50 a.m. How Sequential Decision Analytics Builds Flexibility in Supply Chains
Speaker: Warren Powell
Download the slides or watch video.
9:30 a.m. Panel: Retail Supply Chain
10:30 a.m. Break
10:45 a.m. Panel: Distributor Supply Chain
11:45 a.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. Panel: Inventory Demand Planning
1:45 p.m. Panel: Manufacturing Supply Chain
2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Panel: AI Solutions
3:45 p.m. Closing Summary & Remarks
4:00 p.m. Adjourn

Research Partner

Special thanks to our Research Partner, MxD.

MxD Logo

Trade Association Partner

Special thanks to our Trade Association Partner, the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED).


Media Partners

Special thanks to our Media Partners at The AI Journal and CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly.

Designing Flexible Supply Chains with AI partners


This event is co-hosted by Loyola's Risk Management and Insurance Center, the Supply Chain and Sustainability Center, and the A.I. Business Consortium.