Faculty & Research

Nicole DeHoratius

Adjunct Professor of Operations Management

Address :
5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

Nicole DeHoratius is an expert in the effective management of retail supply chains. In her research, Nicole identifies mechanisms for improving retail performance and operational execution. She has written several case studies across a variety of industries including retail, fashion apparel, and quick-service restaurants and has published in leading journals such as California Management Review, Harvard Business Review, and Management Science. In 2009, the Manufacturing & Service Operations Management Society awarded her its Best Paper Award for her article "Retail Inventory Management When Records are Inaccurate" (coauthored with Adam Mersereau, University of North Carolina, and Linus Schrage, University of Chicago).

Nicole presents frequently to industry groups and has conducted industry projects with a number of firms including Fred Meyer, Hugo Boss, J. C. Penney, McDonald's, Procter & Gamble, Staples, Target, Quantum Retail, and Ulta Beauty. In addition, Nicole serves as a senior editor for the Production and Operations Management Journal and an associate editor for Decision Sciences and M&SOM. She guest edited recent issues of the Journal of Operations Management and INFORMS Transaction on Education. One of the organizers of the 2005 founding POMS Supply Chain College Conference, Nicole is currently the college’s President and a member of the POMS board.

Nicole received her D.B.A. from Harvard Business School, her M.Sc. from the University of Sussex as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, and her A.B., magna cum laude, from Harvard College. Prior to her graduate studies, Nicole was a researcher at the RAND Corporation, a public policy think tank, and was on the Board of Directors of the MIT Enterprise Forum of Washington-Baltimore, Inc.

Nicole joined Chicago Booth in 2001 and teaches Operations Management to University of Chicago Executive MBA students in Chicago, London, and Singapore. Her teaching experience also includes the delivery of MBA courses in supply chain management and operations strategy in Booth’s Executive Education program.


2014 - 2015 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
40101 Supply Chain Strategy and Practice 2015 (Winter)
40801 Operations Management 2014 (Fall)

Research Activities

Supply chain management, retail operations, execution, product availability, vendor management, incentives, operations strategy, labor planning, customer satisfaction, consumer goods, operations management, emerging markets, executive development, operations strategy, apparel, Asia-Pacific.

With Mark Barratt, “Retail Analytics and Behavioral Operations: A Recipe for Superior Performance,” Cutter Consortium Data Insight & Social Business Intelligence Executive Update (2012).

With Elliot Rabinovich, “Field Research in Operations and Supply Chain Management,” Journal of Operations Management (2011).

“Inventory Record Inaccuracy in Retail Supply Chains,” Wiley Encyclopedia of Operations Research and Management Science, edited by James J. Cochran (2011).

With Zeynep Aksin, “Introduction to the Special Issue: Teaching Services & Retail Operations Management,” INFORMS Transactions on Education (2010).

With Zeynep Ton, “The Role of Execution in Managing Product Availability,” Retail Supply Chain Management, Chapter 4: 53-77; edited by N. Agrawal and S. Smith, Springer (2009).

With Ananth Raman, "Inventory Record Inaccuracy: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science (2008).

With Adam Mersereau and Linus Schrage, “Retail Inventory Management When Records Are Inaccurate,” M&SOM, 10(2): 257-277 (2008).

With Marshall Fisher and Serguei Netessine, "McDonald’s Corporation: Launching McCafe," University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School (2008).

For a listing of research publications please visit ’s university library listing page.

REVISION: Inventory Management with Purchase Order Errors and Rework
Date Posted: Aug  15, 2014
Shipments received by retail distribution centers may contain errors that retailers can correct through rework. A ticket error, for example, occurs when the tickets attached to some items within a purchase order (PO) display incorrect information, such as selling price, and can be amended by affixing corrected tickets. Ticket errors and other PO fulfillment errors, discussed herein, are costly and different from traditional random yields. This paper describes the prevalence of PO errors at a large retail chain and studies the cost of PO errors to a standard inventory system. In so doing, this research provides guidance to retailers seeking to collaborate with vendors to reduce errors, set appropriate chargebacks to incentivize vendors, or modify their inventory policy to account for PO errors.

REVISION: The Impact of Supplier Inventory Service Level on Retailer Demand in the Supply Chain for Functional Apparel Items
Date Posted: Aug  14, 2014
To set inventory service levels, firms must understand how changes in inventory service level affect customer demand. While the effects of service level changes have been studied empirically at the level of the end consumer, relatively little is known about the interaction between a retailer and a supplier. Using data from a supplier of branded apparel, we show increases in inventory service level to be associated with statistically significant and substantial increases in retailer orders (i.e., demand, not just sales). Controlling for other factors that might affect demand, we find a 1 percent increase in historical inventory service level to be associated with a 13 percent increase in demand from retailers, where historical service level is the type 1 service level performance of the apparel manufacturer over the prior year. Further, retailers that order frequently exhibit a larger reaction to changes in service level, an outcome that is consistent with retailers learning about and ...

New: Modeling the Behavior of Patients Who Leave the Emergency Department Without Being Seen by a Physician
Date Posted: Apr  23, 2014
We present an empirical study of an emergency department in which patients may leave the waiting area without being seen by a physician (LWBS patients). Using operational data from a hospital emergency department, we show that both time and number of patients in the waiting area significantly increase a patient’s LWBS probability. These factors interact with each other in a non-linear fashion. In addition to these two factors, we show that observed service rate affects LWBS probability, where the magnitude of its effect depends on waiting time. As waiting time increases, higher observed service rates may encourage patients to wait. We also examine the shape of the hazard rate curves for LWBS behavior. We use these findings to draw insights into modeling LWBS behavior. We discuss the state-of-the art for existing queueing and simulation models of abandonment and translate how our findings affect the utility of these models; the results point to the need for further model development.

REVISION: Point-of-Care Testing: Improving Emergency Department Performance through Process Redesign
Date Posted: Dec  08, 2012
Hospital emergency departments (EDs) typically rely on central laboratories to analyze patient samples for the purposes of diagnosing and treating patients. Point-of-care testing (POCT) is a process redesign that shifts the analysis of samples from the central lab to the ED. Using a queueing model, we generate hypotheses about how POCT impacts operational performance and then test those hypotheses empirically using data collected from a large, urban, tertiary, academic hospital. Specifically, we

New: Supply Chain Optimization at Hugo Boss (B) - The M-Ratio
Date Posted: Jun  12, 2009
We evaluate the impact of a supply chain pilot implemented at Hugo Boss. This pilot entailed altering the way in which Hugo Boss orders from its suppliers. We explore the challenge of assessing the impact of supply chain change, the link between operational performance and firm performance, and the relationship between sales, inventory, and product availability.

New: Supply Chain Optimization at Hugo Boss (A)
Date Posted: Jun  12, 2009
Inventory, Order management cycle, Order processing, Order quantity, Lines of business, Product management, Consumer goods, Department stores, Retail stores, Retailers, Retailing, Supply chain management, Supply chains.