18.12.17 - The 2017 Deloitte OES Prize for the best student project in Prof. Weber’s graduate course “Operations: Economics and Strategy” was awarded to Pierre DUSSAUX and Benjamin ZIMERAY. This year’s organization of the Deloitte OES Prize marked the fifth year of cooperation between Deloitte and the EPFL Chair of Operations, Economics and Strategy, with the most competitive set of entries thus far.

The winning team’s outstanding project report, entitled “Arte Beauty & Wellness: Leveraging Wasted Capacity through IT Solutions” details a complete solution for the dynamic management of personnel capacity for an on-campus hairdresser with the aid of temporary price discounts. The team conducted a survey of about 120 consumers and was able to gather detailed information about gender-specific habits and preferences. Based on the empirical distribution of preferred time slots for haircuts, the team constructed a demand pattern for a typical day, including a demand curve for “classical haircut equivalents” allowing for the joint consideration of male and female haircuts. It was then possible to design an algorithm to significantly improve the match between available staffing capacity and actual demand.

The first runner-up project for the Deloitte OES Prize was “Economic and Strategic Advantages of a Mobile Ordering Platform for Food Trucks,” by Clément Catajar, Véra Glukhenaya, and Océane Jousset. The team examined an innovative online application to preorder dishes at on-campus food trucks and supported their analysis by an elaborate discrete-event simulation. The second runner-up was “Panini on Campus: Operational Improvements in a Competitive Environment” by Alex Diab, Ismail Honsali, and José Rodríguez. The team examined the dynamic placement of sandwich vending machines, time-dependent pricing, as well as revenue-sharing with the upstream supplier so as to eliminate the negative effects of double-marginalization.

In total, 18 teams entered the Deloitte OES Prize competition. The projects’ aim was to identify potential operational improvements in mostly local companies, including, in addition to those already mentioned, the inventory management for beverages at the Montreux Jazz Festival; the storage policy and product portfolio at La Pédale (a Brompton Bike retailer in Lausanne); warehouse relocation and RFID tagging for PMI in Neuchâtel; profitability analyses for Olivier Ducret’s winery in Vevey; supply-chain optimization for EPFL Polycopiés at the Librairie La Fontaine; transportation optimization for Unilever’s Inmarko ice-cream brand in Russia; dynamic pricing and vending-machine placement for Orange Mecanik (which provides freshly squeezed orange juice on the EPFL campus); storage design and portfolio optimization at Waco Serveis (a high-end cleaning company in Andorra); operations optimization for the Restaurant Ningbo (located at Lausanne Flon); profit-optimization for (a small retailer with Amazon order fulfillment); innovative drone-based inventory management at Bolloré Logistics; queue-length optimization at the INM sandwichery (at EPFL) via preorders and process innovation; optimization of spare-parts inventories via failure prediction for Matisa, an industrial railway equipment manufacturer; as well as a competitive analysis for the Montreux Jazz Café which is a new restaurant on the EPFL campus.

The jury was composed of Natalie Petraglio and Frederic Pili, both senior managers with Deloitte, Quentin Le Guennec, a consultant with Deloitte, and Prof. Thomas Weber. The members of the prize jury carefully evaluated the teams’ reports, which they found this year to be overall of exceptional quality. The jury members were also present at the team presentations on December 13. Nic Bosshard, a senior manager with Deloitte, chaired the coordination of the 2017 edition of the prize at Deloitte, as in 2015 and 2016.

The members of the winning team each obtained an Apple iPad, sponsored by Deloitte, as first prize. Deloitte, which has 6 offices in Switzerland, was involved with Prof. Weber’s course throughout the fall, and was coordinated by Quentin Le Guennec and Patricia Egger from Deloitte, as well as Ilona Ball from EPFL. 2017 marks the fifth anniversary of the Deloitte OES Prize.

The members of past winning teams, including the names of the respective projects, are:

  • 2016: Céline FISCHER / Valentin TERRAIL / Xiaoran YU
    (“Takinoa Restaurant at the Rolex Learning Center: Operations and Demand Analysis”)
  • 2015: Christophe DONZÉ, Niels PICHLER, Benjamin PREVIDOLI
    (“Selecta on the EPFL Campus”)
  • 2014: Shubham BANSAL, Thomas GUIBENTIF, Marc SOLSONA BERNET
    (“Le Négoce: Survival Under Extreme Conditions”)
  • 2013: Dimitri CORDENIER, Alexis DUBIL
    (“GeoRoute at PostLogistics”)

“Operations: Economics and Strategy” course page

Source:Chair in Operations, Economics and Strategy