Douglas Thomas

Professor of Supply Chain Management
Department: Supply Chain and Information Systems
Office: 463 Business Building
Phone: 814-863-7203
Fax: 814-863-7067
Member of Faculty Since: 1999


Doug Thomas is Professor of Supply Chain Management in the Smeal College of Business at Penn State and has also been a visiting faculty member at INSEAD and the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. He has served as the faculty director for the MBA program at Penn State.  Doug received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Institute of Technology in Industrial Engineering and has a B.S. in Operations Research from Cornell University.  Prior to returning to graduate school, Doug worked for C-Way Systems (now part of Epicor, Inc.), a software company specializing in manufacturing scheduling.  

Doug teaches courses in the areas of Supply Chain Management and Quantitative Modeling in MBA, executive MBA and Ph.D. programs. He also teaches an online course for the Masters of Professional Studies degree in Supply Chain Management offered by Penn State.  He is a multiple recipient of the MBA Excellence in Teaching award.  A frequent faculty leader in executive development programs, Doug has led numerous executive education sessions in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, including programs at Penn State, INSEAD and Georgia Institute of Technology as well as custom programs for Accenture, DuPont, ExxonMobil, IBM, Ingersoll-Rand, Mars, Office Depot, Parker-Hannifin, Pfizer, Schlumberger and the U.S. Marine Corps.  He has testified as an expert witness and consulted for several large organizations on supply chain strategy including Accenture, CSL Behring, Dell, ExxonMobil and Lockheed Martin Aerospace Corporation.

Current Research

His research interests include coordinating production and inventory planning across the extended enterprise and connecting decision models to logistics performance measurement.  Doug is a research associate with the Center for Supply Chain Research where he has served as the faculty director for the Sales and Operations Planning benchmarking consortium. His work has appeared in several academic and practitioner journals in the areas of logistics and operations management, including Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management and Production and Operations Management.  He serves as a senior editor for Production and Operations Management.


Inventory Management
Production Planning and Coordination
Sales and Operations Planning

Publication List

M. Kremer, E. Siemsen, D. Thomas, "The sum and its parts: Judgmental hierarchical forecasting", Management Science, Forthcoming,

L. Gao, D. Thomas, M. Freimer, "Optimal inventory control with retail pre-packs", Production and Operations Management, 23(10),

T. Wang, D. Thomas, N. Rudi, "The effect of competition on the responsive-efficient choice", Production and Operations Management, 23(5),

M. Freimer, J. Linderoth, D. Thomas, "The impact of sampling methods on bias and variance in stochastic linear programs", Computational optimization and applications, 51(1),

D. Thomas, D. Warsing, X. Zhang, "Forecast updating and supplier coordination for complementary component purchases", Production and Operations Management, 18(2),

E. Katok, D. Thomas, A. Davis, "Inventory service level agreements as coordination mechanisms", Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 10(4),

D. Thomas and D. Warsing, "A periodic inventory model for stocking modular parts", Production and Operations Management, 16(3),

D. Thomas, "Measuring item fill rate performance in a finite horizon", Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, 7(1),

C. Chen-Ritzo, T. Harrison, A. Kwasnica, D. Thomas, "Better, Faster, Cheaper: An experimental analysis of a multi-attribute reverse auction mechanism with restricted information feedback", Management Science, 51(12),


Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1999

M.S., Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 1996

B.S., Operations Research, Cornell University, 1992