SRH Campus Hamburg

Luuk van Rijthoven from MediaMarktSaturn at SRH Campus Hamburg

Exploring the Practical Applications of Maximum Flow Problems

Last month, SRH Campus Hamburg hosted an insightful guest lecture as part of the Master's Program in Supply Chain Management. The distinguished speaker for the occasion was Luuk van Rijthoven, a Senior Specialist in Supply Chain Network Design and Optimization at MediaMarktSaturn.

The focal point of the lecture revolved around the "Maximum Flow Problem" and its practical applications in the realm of supply chain optimization. Van Rijthoven delved into the intricacies of understanding different complexities inherent in the practical use cases of the maximum flow problem. One of the key takeaways was the acknowledgment that achieving optimality cannot always be guaranteed, prompting the exploration of heuristic approaches to provide tangible value to businesses.

One of the students who actively participated in the lecture shared their insights, stating, "I got that it's very important to understand what the actual problem is and if the problem is very complex containing multiple variables and constraints, it is vital to identify the 'hard variables and easy variables'." Puranik, Kaustubh, Student M.Sc. Supply Chain Management

This underscores the significance of recognizing the core elements within a complex problem, allowing for a more targeted and effective problem-solving approach.

He further emphasized the idea that, depending on the problem's complexity, a tailored methodology can be adopted for its solution. The identification of "hard variables and easy variables" aids in deciding the most suitable optimization method. Additionally, Van Rijthoven highlighted that there may be multiple solutions to a given problem, and the choice of methodology should align with factors such as urgency and other critical considerations. This strategic approach ensures that businesses derive maximum benefit from optimization efforts, ultimately fulfilling the overarching aim.

In summary, the lecture provided a comprehensive insight into how numerical optimization, particularly in the context of the maximum flow problem, can be a valuable tool for businesses. The emphasis on understanding problem complexities, identifying key variables, and adopting appropriate methodologies underscored the practicality and relevance of the concepts discussed. Participants left with a deeper appreciation for the role of optimization in solving complex supply chain issues efficiently, contributing to the overall success of businesses in diverse domains.

Prof.Dr. Nnamdi Oguji

Professor for Supply Chain Management