Areas of Expertise
- Assortment Planning
- Business Analytics
- Dynamic Programming
- Fast Fashion
- Field Experiments
- Multiarmed Bandits
- Retail Operations
- Supply Chain Management
- Sustainable Operations
Associate Professor of Decisions, Operations and Technology Management Felipe Caro leads UCLA Anderson's new M.S. in business data analytics. He holds editorial positions at Production and Operations Management and Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, and he has won multiple awards and contributed significantly to the international academic literature on supply chain management. His Management Science article Product and Price Competition with Satiation Effects was awarded first prize in the 2010 INFORMS Junior Faculty Interest Group Paper Competition.
Caro's main interests are related to decisions made under uncertainty with a strong emphasis on practical applications. The mathematical model he developed to support the decisions fast-fashion retailers face each period resulted in increased season sales of 3-4 percent for the Spanish apparel giant Zara. "My motivation was to build an inventory allocation model that was well-grounded in the real problems faced by a large-scale apparel retailer," says Caro. His collaboration with Zara and the effectiveness of his analytical models in the fast-fashion industry made him a Franz Edelman Laureate in 2009.
Professor Caro's case Zara: Staying Fast and Fresh is widely taught in business schools in the U.S. and abroad. Caro adds, "I had been collaborating with Zara for six years so I had a very deep understanding of the company from the inside." This case won the ecch (now The Case Centre) New Case Writer award and the Production & Operations Management award. Caro was the first recipient in the awards' 22-year history to win both categories simultaneously.
"I find that the best way to improve a case is to teach it in the classroom," says Caro, who was also awarded the George Robbins Assistant Professor Award that distinguishes excellence in teaching at UCLA Anderson.
Prior to receiving his Ph.D. in operations management from MIT, Caro worked as an instructor in the Industrial Engineering Department of the University of Chile and did research on natural resources, mostly in the forestry and copper industries. His paper Optimizing Long-Term Production Plans in Underground and Open Pit Copper Mines, published as the lead article in Operations Research, won the 2014 ENRE Best Publication Award in Natural Resources. Caro's current research projects concern carbon allocation in supply chains, coordination of pricing and inventory decisions, unauthorized subcontracting in supply chains, and exploration versus exploitation problems. His latest research investigates the state of scope 3 carbon emissions reporting in supply chains.
Operations and Technology Management (Mgmt 410)
Global Supply Chain Management (Mgmt 240F)
Dynamic Programming (Ph.D.)
Ph.D. Operations Management, 2005, MIT Sloan School of Management
Industrial Engineer, 1999, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, with highest honors
B.Sc. Engineering, 1998, University of Chile, Santiago, Chile, with highest honors
This case has been prepared for class discussion and it covers the most recent developments at Zara. The case and its teaching note are available at www.ecch.com reference numbers 612-006-1 and 612-006-8. Winner of the Production & Operations Management award and the New Case Writer competition in the ecch Case Awards 2013. A sample page is available here.Publications and Works in progress