University of Nottingham Ningbo China
Nottingham University Business School China
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Nachiappan (Nachi) Subramanian

Director of PhD Programme, Associate Professor in Operations Management , Nottingham University Business School Ningbo China 


BE (Mechanical Engineering, MKU, India), ME (Production Engineering, MKU, India), PhD (Engineering – Supply Chain, MKU, India) 


  • Room 255, Admin Building
    University of Nottingham Ningbo China
    199 Taikang East Road,
    Ningbo, 315100
  • +86 (0) 574 8818 0197
  • +86 (0) 574 8818 0125


Expertise summary

Dr Nachiappan (Nachi) Subramanian is an Associate Professor in Operational Management and joined UNNC in 2011. He has published over 90 refereed papers which include journal articles and international conference papers. Currently, he is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Integrated Supply Management (IJISM) and International Journal of Applied Industrial Engineering. He edited few special issues in Logistics and Supply Chain Management journals. He also serves as a reviewer for many leading operations and supply chain management journals. Previously, Nachi worked as an associate professor at Thiagarajar College of Engineering, Madurai, India. Conducted his post-doctoral research on multi criteria decision making and performance measurement at University of Nottingham, United Kingdom under BOYSCAST fellowship program and received the Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship Award to conduct research on ‘Complexity, Risks and Low Cost Country Sourcing (with special reference to India). He received a Career Award and Young Scientist Fellowship Award from Indian government agencies to augment his research on supply chain modelling. He has supervised four PhD thesis in balanced path planning, sustainable supplier selection, third party logistics and reverse logistics. He has organised two conferences at national and international level in operational research and two weeks national level short term program for Indian researchers on operational strategies and implementation issues in logistics and supply chain management.

Teaching summary

My teaching interests are in operations management and supply chain management with particular interest in introduction to business operations, management support systems, production planning and control, operational research, managing service operations, research methodology at undergraduate and master’s level.


  • Introduction to business operations
  • Introduction to business methods


  • Supply Chain Management in Practice
  • Developing management research

Research summary

My research interests are in sustainable supply chain, reverse logistics, third party logistics, low cost country sourcing, supply chain complexity & resilience and performance measurement 

Administrative roles

PhD Programme Director 

Research interests


  • Developed mathematical models for two-echelon vendor managed inventory supply chain to determine optimal operating parameters.
  •  Developed heuristics procedure to study and analyse the performance of supply chain.
  •  Studied various issues in real time forecasting.
  •  Used multi criteria decision making methodologies to study the performance of logistics service providers’.

Present and future

  • Involved in identifying suitable sustainable supplier evaluation factors.
  • Developing combined model for location, allocation and routing in reverse logistics network.
  • Exploring critical factors for third party logistics service providers’ success.
  • Analysing the effectiveness of new approaches based on clustering methodologies with respect to balanced multi-robot task allocation.
  • Analyse influence of supply chain strategies on low-cost country sourcing.
  • Study various factors which cause complexity in supply chain.
  • Develop framework and methodologies to improve supply chain resilience
  • Investigate complexity in sourcing and their effects on buyer supplier dyadic relationships


Nachiappan Subramanian and Ramakrishnan Ramanathan (2012), A review of applications of Analytic Hierarchy Process in operations management, International Journal of Production Economics, Vol.138, No.2, pp. 215-241.

Mahaboob Sheriff, K.M., Gunasekaran, A. and Nachiappan, S. (2012) ‘Reverse Logistics network design: a review on strategic perspective’, Int. J. Logistics Systems and Management, Vol. 12, No. 2, pp.171–194.

Shams Rahman, Subramanian Nachiappan (2011),   Factors for Implementing End-Of-Life Computer Recycling Operations in Reverse Logistics, International Journal of Production Economics, doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2011.07.019

Baskaran V, Subramanian Nachiappan, Shams Rahman (2011), Textile supplier sustainability evaluation based on social and environmental issues using grey approach, International Journal of Production Economics, doi:10.1016/j.ijpe.2011.06.012

Baskaran V, Subramanian Nachiappan, Shams Rahman (2011), Supplier Assessment based on Corporate Social Responsibility Criteria in Indian Automotive and Textile Industry Sectors, International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, DOI:10.1080/19397038.2011.579360

Mothilal S, Angappa Gunasekaran, Nachiappan SP, Jayanth Jayaram (2011), Indian 3PL Service Providers’ success: An empirical analysis, International Journal of Production Research, DOI:10.1080/00207543.2011.581004.

Elango.M, Nachiappan, SP, Tiwari MK (2011), Balancing task allocation in multi-robot systems using k means clustering and auction based mechanisms, Expert Systems with Applications, Vol. 38, pp. 6486-6491.

M.Elango, Nachiappan S, S.Prabaharan (2011), Hybrid methodologies for balanced multi-robot task allocation and path minimization, Indian Journal of Industrial and Applied Mathematics

Usha Ramanathan, Angappa Gunasekaran, Subramanian Nachiappan (2011), Supply chain collaboration Performance metrics: A conceptual framework, Benchmarking: An international Journal, Vol.18, No.6

Jayanth Jayaram, Keah-Choon Tan, Subramanian Nachiappan (2010), An Exploratory Study Of Predictors Of Immediate And Extended Supply Chain Coordination Strategies, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 48, No.22, pp.6837-6857

Prithwiraj Nath, Subramanian Nachiappan, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan (2010), The Impact of Marketing Capability, Operations Capability and Diversification Strategy on Performance for Logistics Service Providers: A Resource-Based View, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol 39 N0.2, pp.317-329.

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N, Navaneetha Kumar K (2008), Operating parameters for a single vendor- multiple buyers vendor managed inventory systems with outsourcing using Genetic Algorithm, International Journal of Operational Research, 2008, Vol. 3, No.3, pp.336-361.

Muralidharan J, Gunasekaran A, Nachiappan SP, Nivinkumar A (2008), Efficient Mechanism Development for Multi-Robot Coordination, International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Vol.3, No.2, 149-161.

Suresh G, Jawahar N, Nachiappan SP (2007), GA based Heuristic for a Three – Echelon Supply Chain, International Journal of Logistics and Supply Chain Management- e-journal, Vol.1, No.1

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N (2007), A genetic algorithm for optimal operating parameters of VMI system in a two-echelon supply chain, European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 183, No.3, 1433-1452.

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N, Arunkumar AC (2007), Evolution of operating parameters for a Multiple Vendors and Multiple Buyers Vendor Managed Inventory System with outsourcing using Simulated Annealing Algorithm, International Journal of Industrial Management and Optimization, Vol. 3, No. 3, pp.597-618.

Nachiappan SP, Gunasekaran A, Jawahar N (2007), Knowledge management system for operating parameters in two-echelon VMI supply chains, International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 45, No. 11, 2479–2505.

Sankarvinay arul, Gunasekaran A, Nachiappan SP, Ramasamy B (2007), Development Of Efficient Combinatorial Auction Mechanism For Airport Slot Allocation, International Journal of Services and Operations Management, Vol. 3, No. 4, 427-443.

Sankarvinay arul, Gunasekaran A, Nachiappan SP, Naganathan V (2007), Real time forecasting using design of experiment procedure, International Journal of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Vol. 2, No.1, pp. 61-78.

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N, Ganesh M (2006), Pricing in Vendor Managed Inventory Systems, Int. Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, Vol. 2, No.1, pp. 19- 40.

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N, Calvin Parthibharaj S, Brucelee B (2005), Performance Analysis of forecast driven vendor Managed Inventory System, Journal of Advanced Manufacturing System, Vol. 4 No2., pp. 209-226.

Nachiappan SP (2006), A Guide to Review the Auction Based Mechanism for Transport Logistics, Pravartak, Anniversary Issue, Oct-Dec 2006, Vol. 2, No.1, pp. 37-47.

Nachiappan SP, Jawahar N, Ganesh M (2004), Concepts, Issues and Opportunities in Vendor Managed Inventory Systems, Journal of Manufacturing Technology and Management, May 2004, pp.10-16.

Case study

Arunpandian P, Nachiappan SP, Dinesh Kumar U (2011). Supply chain optimization at Madurai Aavin Milk Dairy, Harvard Business Publishing.

Book chapters

Subramanian Nachiappan, Natarajan Jawahar (2010), Information Technology enabled Vendor Managed Inventory in modelling supply chain issues: A Review, In Enterprise Information Systems and Implementing IT Infrastructures: Challenges and Issues, IGI Global, 226-252

P. Sivakumar, K. Ganesh , S.P. Nachiappan, and S. Arunachalam (2010), A Heuristic for Heterogeneous Capacitated Pick-up and Delivery Logistics Problems with Time Windows in Agile Manufacturing and the Distribution Supply Chain, In Enterprise Networks and Logistics for Agile Manufacturing, Springer London

Subramanian Nachiappan, Natarajan Jawahar (2007), Pricing in Supply Chain under Vendor Managed Inventory, A book chapter in Supply Chain Management Theory and Practice, ARS Publishing, Austria

Recent papers at conferences, workshops and seminars (from 2008 onwards)

Nachiappan Subramanian, Muhammad D Abdulrahman and Shams Rahman (2012), Sourcing complexity factors on contractual relationship: Chinese suppliers’ perspective, 23rd Annual POMS Annual Conference, Chicago, 20-23 April 2012.

Nachiappan Subramanian, Muhammad D Abdulrahman and Angus Hooke (2012), Factors for implementing end-of-life product recycling operations in Chinese manufacturing sector, 23rd Annual POMS Annual Conference, Chicago, 20-23 April 2012.

Muhammad D Abdulrahman and Nachiappan Subramanian (2012), Barriers in implementing reverse logistics in the Chinese manufacturing sector: An empirical analysis, 23rd Annual POMS Annual Conference, Chicago, 20-23 April 2012.

Nachiappan Subramanian, Shams Rahman, Chandra Lalwani, Low cost country sourcing complexities and supply chain strategies, 18th EurOMA Conference, Cambridge, UK, 3-6 July 2011.

Shams Rahman, Nachiappan Subramanian, Caroline Chan, Analytic Hierarchy Process and its applications in Logistics Research, Proceedings of the 16th International Symposium on Logistics, pp. 326-334, Berlin, Germany 10-13 July 2011.

Jothi Basu R, Nachiappan S, Ferry Jie, Full Truck Load (TL) Transportation Service Procurement – A Literature Review Approach, International conference on Operational Research for Urban and Rural Development and 43rd ORSI annual convention, Thiagarajar College of Engineering, India, 15-17 December 2010.

Calwin Parthibaraj S, Nachiappan S, Behnam Fahimnia, A review on application of agent based approaches to port logistics, International conference on Operational Research for Urban and Rural Development and 43rd ORSI annual convention, Thiagarajar College of Engineering,15-17, India, December 2010.

Prabaharan, S. Elango, M., Nachiappan, S, Balanced multi-robot task allocation using saving matrix method, International Conference on Optimisation and its Applications, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, Feb 16-18, 2010.

Selvakumar. S, Sivakumar. P, Ganesh.K, Nachiappan. SP. (2009), A simulation model for evaluation of Inventory Policies for Blood Banks, 8th Triennial Conference on Association of Asian Pacific Operational Societies Conference (APORS) at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur, India, 06-09 December 2009.

S.Mothilal, Nachiappan S, Jayanth Jayaram, Performance metrics and growth strategies for success of Indian Third Party Logistics Service Provider: An empirical analysis, 13th Operations Management Conference, IIT Madras, Chennai, India, Dec 20th -22nd, 2009.

Subramanian Nachiappan, M. Elango, Efficient Mechanism for balanced Multiple Task Allocation in Multi-robot Systems, INFORMS 2009 annual conference, San Diego, USA October, 10 -14, 2009.

Baskaran V, Subramanian Nachiappan, Supplier selection with environmental and social issues, International Conference on operations research applications in Engineering and Management, Tiruchirapalli, India, 27-29th May 2009.

Shanmugam P, Ravishankar C, Elango M, Subramanian Nachiappan, Resource allocation for multi robot systems using soft k-means method, International Conference on operations research applications in Engineering and Management, Tiruchirapalli, India, 27-29th May 2009.

Mahaboob Sheriff K.M, Subramanian Nachiappan, Jayanth Jayaram, Capacitated Location Routing And Balanced Allocation In Reverse Logistics Network, 14th International Symposium on Logistics, University of Nottingham, ISTANBUL, TURKEY, 6-8th July 2009.

Subramanian Nachiappan, Naganathan, V, Determination of appropriate inventory using EOQ-ARIMA: A study, International Conference on Operations Research for a growing nation in conjunction with the 41st annual convention of Operational Research Society of India (ORSI)at SV University, Tirupati, India, 15-17 December 2008.

Elango M, Nachiappan S, Performance Analysis of K-Means clustering methods for solving the multiple traveling salesman problem, Fascinating Advancements in Mechanical Engineering, Mepco Engg College, Sivakasi, India, December 11-13, 2008.

Subramanian Nachiappan, Murugappa Elango, Efficient Auction Based Mechanisms for Resources Allocation in Logistics Management, HOPS International Conference, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland, October 8-9, 2008.

K.Mohamed Sheriff, Subramanian Nachiappan, Sornakumar T, Role of Warehouse operations in reverse logistics: A review,  Fourth International Conference on Logistics and supply chain Management, PSG College of Technology, India, August 7-8, 2008.

Murugappan Elango, Subramanian Nachiappan, Sornakumar T, K-Means Clustering Approach for Multiple Traveling Salesmen Problem , Fourth International Conference on Logistics and supply chain Management, PSG College of Technology, India, August 7-8, 2008.

Nath Prithwiraj, Nachiappan Subramanian, Ramanathan Ram, Success in business-to-business logistics: The role of marketing and operations capabilities, 37th EMAC Conference Brighton 2008, University of Brighton Brighton Business School UK, , 27-30 May 2008.

Subramanian Nachiappan, Ramakrishnan Ramanathan, Robust Decision Making using Data Envelopment Analytic hierarchy Process, AIKED 08 WSEAS Conference, Cambridge, UK, Feb 20-22, 2008.

Media publications

Edwards, David and Subramanian, Nachiappan (2014), ' Delivery drones could be a reality', China Daily, 6 June 2014, p.9

Edwards, David and Subramanian, Nachiappan (2014), 'Delivery drones could be a reality',