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Wicked Local: Christmas Season Begins Amid Supply Chain Uncertainty

The Brookline Tab of Wicked Local, recently published insight from Arzum Akkas, Assistant Professor in Operations and Technology Management, on the global supply chain crisis that has become more evident during this holiday season.

Arzum Akkas

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November 24, 2021

The Brookline Tab of Wicked Local, recently published insight from Arzum Akkas, Assistant Professor in Operations and Technology Management, on the global supply chain crisis that has become more evident during this holiday season. The article discusses the high demand for toys that store owners are experiencing much earlier than usual.

The supply chain crisis has compelled many manufacturers to raise prices, causing store owners to increase their own prices to maintain profit margins. This dynamic is especially at play for independent toy stores, which are competing with large corporations with more resources to overcome some of the logistical challenges. As a result, the supply chain has been experiencing disruptions and workforce shortages since earlier this year. As Arzum explains, “due to the [COVID-19] pandemic, we have been having labor issues due to various reasons.” She goes on to elaborate that increasing demands and shrinking capacities have created a “vicious circle” that led to a global supply chain disruption.

Dr. Arzum Akkas studies food supply chains. She analyzes the root causes of food waste in supply chains and develops tools to control waste through shelf space management, employee incentives, and inventory management. She collaborates with major retailers, distributors, and manufacturers in the US and in Europe to investigate how to improve operational efficiency, reduce waste, and accomplish sustainability goals. Her research has been published in leading academic journals including Management Science and Production and Operations Management. Before turning to research, Dr. Akkas worked as an operations manager at Pepsi, a management consultant at the leading strategy and operations firm Archstone Consulting, and a business systems consultant for the supply chain software firm JDA. She has Ph.D. from MIT in Engineering Systems, a Master’s degree from MIT in Supply Chain Management, and a Bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Technical University in Industrial Engineering.