The Optimization Edge

A Blog for Business Executives and Advanced Analytics Practitioners

Technologies: Data Science, Big Data, Optimization, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Analytics, Forecasting

Applications: Operations, Supply Chain, Finance, Health Care, Workforce, Sales and Marketing
September 1, 2023

I was recently interviewed on “Tech Leaders Unplugged,” a podcast for businesspeople that covers “the latest technology trends and innovations from AI to the blockchain, fintech to health tech.” Watch or listen to the 30-minute interview here. Here are some lightly edited excerpts.

Wade Erickson: A lot of our listeners come from the tech space. We’ve seen quite a frenzy around AI. Can you talk a little bit about the process that’s involved when you’re presented a project—how optimization goes into the design thinking and the evaluation of the current workflows in the application? Where do you insert your background and intellect into that process? How does that show up in the software development teams to insert the new algorithms, and the new models and methods to optimize?

July 13, 2023

Irv was interviewed by Lityx CEO Paul Maiste for the Data Stories podcast. Following are lightly edited excerpts. Listen to the full conversation here.

June 9, 2023

In manufacturing, there is often a competition between mass production and custom artisanship: produce vast quantities of product at low cost or produce it in tiny amounts at high fit. Can you achieve low unit cost and scalability from mass production, and the high necessary fit for each consumer from custom artisanship?



May 4, 2023

Following is an excerpt from Steve’s 3/31 presentation to transportation and logistics executives, hosted by Stifel’s equity research group.

There are rail executives who talk about disruption because, starting around 2011, the railroads started to lose massive market share to trucking. The gap is presently widening. If rail transportation costs less and improves supply chain resiliency versus a truck-only strategy, and if it is more energy efficient and emits lower greenhouse gases than trucking does, why is it losing share?


April 7, 2023

On April 6, Steve Sashihara returned to Road Dog Trucking Radio to discuss trucking and emerging technology. Following are excerpts of his conversation with host Mark Willis.

February 7, 2023

Princeton Consultants Optimization Principal Dr. Irv Lustig has been nominated for the position of Vice President of Marketing, Communications, and Outreach (VPMCO) for INFORMS. The election will take place this summer. The volunteer role includes serving as an advocate for INFORMS and as a trusted O.R. and Analytics subject matter expert, as well as speaking about INFORMS and technical subject matters with external audiences, including decision-makers in government and other organizations and businesses.

Irv said, “I’m honored to be nominated for VP of Marketing, Communications and Outreach for INFORMS in the next election cycle. I look forward to sharing my views on how INFORMS can achieve its strategic goal of how we can best champion our profession and our brand.”

January 25, 2023

In November, Steve, as a guest speaker at Gurobi Days in New York City, presented a project risk management framework. Following is a lightly edited excerpt from Q&A with practitioners in the audience.

Audience Member: You said a consulting group is brought in when things are not going well. Isn’t there another situation where things are actually going OK? The organization is doing fine but executives are convinced that they can get that two‑percent improvement and millions or billions of dollars in savings and benefits.

December 15, 2022

This post is adapted from Irv’s appearance on the Alldus “AI in Action” podcast series.

These are truly exciting times for advanced analytics practitioners, whether you are launching your career or continuing to develop and implement solutions.

November 1, 2022

At the recent INFORMS Annual Meeting, I had the great pleasure to be a judge for “Doing Good with Good OR,”, the student competition that honors projects that greatly impact society. I joined the competition committee this year and will be the co-chair with Dr. Justin Boutilier in 2023.

September 23, 2022

Every year Princeton Consultants surveys executives about digital disruption and its impact on freight transportation and supply chains. In 2022, as with previous years, the largest segment of survey responders, 58 percent, were executives at transportation carriers. The other segments were: Finance, Media and Government executives, 19 percent; Shippers executives, 15 percent; and Suppliers executives, 8 percent.