Plenary Speaker

Slide of this plenary presentation, please click here

Robert Blackburn


Operations Research in BASF's Supply Chain Operations

Plenary room



Over the years, Operations Research has been used extensively to support the chemical industry in configuring and planning their end-to-end supply networks. The applications deal with a wide range of problems, ranging from long-term strategic problems related to product portfolio and warehouse allocation, to mid-term tactical problems such as inventory and transportation optimization and to very short-term operational problems, such as order quantities and production scheduling problems. Modeling approaches for customized make-to-order product industries differ from those of plain make-to-stock industries. Additionally, as process industry is designed through “many-to-many” processes, its network dimensionality asks for different solution approaches than problems of a convergent network (automobile industry) or divergent network (food industry). In this talk we examine the planning and design tasks with regard to industrial examples from BASF, draw some conclusions about the degree to which different classes of problems have been solved, and discuss challenges for the future. 

About the Speaker

Margaret  Brandeau--026 - croppedBefore becoming President of Supply Chain Operations & Information Services, Robert, as a Senior Vice President, led BASF Group's global transformation program, and was also a leader of the Group's Global Procurement Steering Team.

Prior to BASF, Robert served as Head of Corporate Portfolio Development for Siemens and led multiple P&L businesses as Vice President at IBM.

Robert is Chairman of the Board of BASF Business Services, Vice Chairman of the Board of Elemica, and member of the Board of Executive Directors of the Bundesvereinigung Logistik