Fields of expertise
BiographyRalf W. Seifert is Professor of Technology & Operations Management (TOM) at the College of Management of Technology (CDM) at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) since 2003. His primary research and teaching interests relate to operations management, supply chain strategy and technology network management. He is also active in industry analysis, international project work and new venture formation. Based on his work with companies, Professor Seifert has co-authored more than 30 case studies covering different industries. These efforts have been recognized by multiple international case awards granted by EFMD in 2018, 2012, 2009 and 2003, ECCH in 2011 and 2006, as well as POMS in 2004. He continues to actively research issues of supply chain strategy, supply chain finance and technology management and has more than 70 articles and international conference presentations to his credit. In addition, he co-authored two books: one focused on strategic supply chain management and another one concerning start-up challenges of technology ventures. In parallel to his appointment at EPFL, he continues to serve a position at IMD, were he has been appointed Professor of Operations Management in 2000. Prior to joining IMD, Professor Seifert studied and worked in Germany, Japan and the US. He earned PhD and MS degrees in Management Science at Stanford University, a Diplom Ingenieur degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and a Master's degree in Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University. While in the US, he consulted for Hewlett-Packard and served as Teaching and Research Assistant at Stanford University. In Germany he worked for Booz & Company, McKinsey & Company and Freudenberg & Co. In addition, he spent one year as a Visiting Scholar in Operations Research at Waseda University in Tokyo.
Assortment optimization using an attraction model in an omnichannel environmentEuropean Journal Of Operational Research. 2022-12-15. DOI : 10.1016/j.ejor.2022.08.002.
Limiting the impact of supply chain disruptions in the face of distributional uncertainty in demandProduction And Operations Management. 2022-09-06. DOI : 10.1111/poms.13781.
Information Retrieval Under Network Uncertainty: Robust Internet RankingOperations Research. 2022-08-11. DOI : 10.1287/opre.2022.2298.
Benefiting from additive manufacturing for mass customization across the product life cycleOperations Research Perspectives. 2021-01-01. DOI : 10.1016/j.orp.2021.100201.
Mitigating Product Shortage Due to Disruptions in Multi-Stage Supply ChainsProduction And Operations Management. 2020-04-01. DOI : 10.1111/poms.13286.
Is Demand Planning Ready for AISupply Chain Quarterly. 2019.
Optimal Dynamic Order Scheduling Under Capacity Constraints Given Demand-forecast EvolutionProduction and Operations Management. 2017. DOI : 10.1111/poms.12759.
How Process Industries Can Improve Supply Chain PerformanceSupply Chain Quarterly. 2017.
Building up Resilience in a Pharmaceutical Supply Chain through Inventory, Dual Sourcing and Agility CapacityOmega-International Journal Of Management Science. 2017. DOI : 10.1016/j.omega.2017.01.001.
Inventory dynamics in process industries: An empirical investigationInternational Journal Of Production Economics. 2017. DOI : 10.1016/j.ijpe.2017.06.019.
Benefits of working capital sharing in supply chainsJournal Of The Operational Research Society. 2017. DOI : 10.1057/s41274-016-0009-2.
New Markets, New Customers and New Supply Chain Problems: Seven Mitigation Strategies to Tackle High Sales Variances2016
Quantifying the Bullwhip Effect Using Two-Echelon Data: A Cross-Industry Empirical InvestigationInternational Journal of Production Economics. 2016. DOI : 10.1016/j.ijpe.2015.08.027.
Coherent Measures of Customer Service Level2015. EurOMA Annual Meeting, Neuchâtel, June 2015.
Knowledge Spillovers in the Supply Chain: Evidence From The High Tech Sectors2015. EurOMA Annual Meeting, Neuchâtel, June 2015.
Taking an Integrated View on Point of Sales Materials Supplies: Three Lessons from L’Oréal to Increase Loyalty and Obtain New Customers with Gifts and Testers2015
Dynamic Capabilities in Sustainable Supply Chain Management: A Theoretical FrameworkSupply Chain Forum: An International Journal. 2015. DOI : 10.1080/16258312.2015.11728690.
Does the Bullwhip Still Strike? Detecting Variability in the Supply Chain2015
Joint product assortment, inventory and price optimization to attract loyal and non-loyal customersOmega-International Journal Of Management Science. 2014. DOI : 10.1016/j.omega.2014.02.002.
The value of updated information on future price behaviourInternational Journal Of Production Research. 2014. DOI : 10.1080/00207543.2013.848481.
The Perks and Pitfalls of Knowledge Diffusion in the Supply ChainIMD – Tomorrow’s Challenges. 2013.
Trade Credit: Literature Review and Research DirectionsEuropean Journal Of Operational Research. 2013. DOI : 10.1016/j.ejor.2013.03.016.
Lego: Consolidating Distribution (Abridged)Supply Chain Forum: an International Journal. 2013. DOI : 10.1080/16258312.2013.11517309.
Assessing the Comprehensiveness of Supply Chain Environmental StrategiesBusiness Strategy and the Environment. 2013. DOI : 10.1002/bse.1749.
What is the Value of Updated Information on the Time of Price Decrease?2013
Reviewing the Adoption of Ecolabels by Firms2012
Mobility Carsharing: An IT Leadership Crisis2012.
Mobility Carsharing: An IT Leadership Crisis2012.
Oracle: An Evolution of the IT Paradigm2012.
Strategic Supply Chain Management: The Executive RoleLondon: Routledge.
Benefits and Scepticism of Ecolabels as Accountability MechanismEuropean Business Review. 2012.
Aligning Supply Chain and Product PortfoliosInternational Journal of Production Economics. 2012. DOI : 10.1016/j.ijpe.2011.08.032.
Hilti (A & B): Gearing the Supply Chain for the Future2011.
Unilever Tea: Revitalizing Lipton's Supply Chain (A)2011.
Unilever Tea: Going Beyond the Low-hanging Fruits (B)2011.
Unilever Tea: Revitalizing Lipton's Supply Chain (A & B)2011.
Unilever Sustainable Tea. Part II: Reaching out to Smallholders in Kenya and ArgentinaThe Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative: Utrecht, IDH007-22.; Utrecht: The Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH), 2011.
Umweltsiegel: Was bei Zertifizierung wichtig istBusiness-Wissen.de. 2011.
Strategic Assessment is a Must in Selecting EcolablesGulf News. 2011.
Managing business dynamics with adaptive supply chain portfoliosEuropean Journal Of Operational Research. 2011. DOI : 10.1016/j.ejor.2011.06.026.
Interrelating Operational and Financial Performance Measurements in a Multi-Product Inventory SystemInternational Journal of Services and Operations Management. 2011. DOI : 10.1504/IJSOM.2011.042925.
Financing the ChainInternational Commerce Review. 2011.
Unilever Sustainable Tea: Leapfrogging to Mainstream2010.
Interrelating operational and financial performance measurements in inventory controlEuropean Journal Of Operational Research. 2010. DOI : 10.1016/j.ejor.2009.11.001.
Trade Credit: Literature Review and Research Directions2010
Interrelating Operational and Financial Performance Measurements in a Multi-Product Inventory Control2010
Designing Service Level Contracts for Supply Chain Coordination2010
Responding to Business Dynamics with Adaptive Supply Chain Portfolios2010
Supply Chain Finance: Foundations, Benefits, and Success Factors2010
An Analysis of Supply Chain Environmental Management Practices of Sustainability Leaders2010
An Analysis of Supply Chain Environmental Management Practices of Sustainability LeadersPOMS 2010, Vancouver, Canada, May 2010.
Systematic and Comprehensive Supply Chain Environmental ManagementEuro 2010, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2010.
Estimating the Impact of Stochasticity in Operating TheatresEURO 2010, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2010.
A Heuristic to Locate Distribution Centers in Large Supply ChainsEURO 2010, Lisbon, Portugal, July 2010.
Being Proactive about Supply Chain Environmental ManagementIMD- Perspective for Managers. 2010.
Adoption of Network Technologies in the Presence of ConvertersEconomics of Innovation and New Technology. 2009. DOI : 10.1080/10438590701663701.
Price-only Contracts with Sub-supply Chain Coordination2009
Aligning Supply Chain and Product Portfolios2009
The Effect of Supply Chain Disruptions on Suppliers, Customers, and Rivals2009
Attaining Sustained Supply Chain Alignment – Step by Step2009
Supply Chain Finance - What is it Woth?IMD- Perspective for Managers. 2009.
On the Optimal Working Capital Allocation in a Multi-echelon Supply ChainINFORMS Annual Meeting, San Diego, USA, November 2009.
The Effect of Supply Chain Disruptions on Suppliers, Customers, and RivalsPOMS 2009, Orlando, USA, May 2009.
Lego (B): Consolidating Distribution2009.
Lego (A): Consolidating Distribution2009.
Lego (A & B): Consolidating Distribution2009.
Pièges Mortels pour Jeunes Pousses High-TechL'Expansion Entrepreneuriat. 2009.
Aligning Supply Chain and Product PortfoliosProduction and Operations Management. 2009.
Nurturing Science-based Ventures: An International Case PerspectiveSpringer.
Optimal Retail Channel Selection under Decentralized Decision Making2008
Aligning Supply Chain Portfolios with Product PortfoliosPOMS 2008, La Jolla, USA, May 2008.
Interrelating Operational and Financial Performance Measurements in Inventory ControlPOMS 2008, La Jolla, USA, May 2008.
Teaching & PhD
Management of Technology