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Suzanne de Treville
SFI Faculty Member
Professor, Operations Management
Suzanne de Treville is Full Professor of Operations Management at HEC-UNIL, University of Lausanne. She became an SFI Faculty Member in 2017. Prof. de Treville has played a pioneering role in the application of quantitative-finance methods to the cash flows that flow through the supply chain. She created OpLab (Operations Laboratory at the University of Lausanne) to facilitate the implementation of these research insights and tools by managers and policy makers. The decision tools that have been created by OpLab are being used by the US Department of Commerce and by the Swiss government. She serves as Department Editor for the Operational Systems Department at the Journal of Operations Management, and recently guest co-edited a special issue of the journal on Competitive Operations in a High-Cost Environment. She was Dean of HEC-UNIL from 2006 to 2009.
Research Interests:
Prof. de Treville’s core research interest lies in using the option value of demand volatility to strengthen manufacturing in developed economies in a way that then creates positive links to innovation and sustainability—in addition to strengthening the local economy. She has demonstrated that valuing the real options inherent in responsive supply chains dramatically increases the solution space for such production available to managers and policy makers.
Recent Research:
In a recent paper, Prof. de Treville and her coauthors apply extreme-value theory methods to venture-capital decision making to demonstrate how the value of a capacity buffer – which can be considered as a real option – increases in the right-tail heaviness of deal values. If extreme deal values are unlikely, then it is better for the venture capital firm to run lean, with venture capitalists operating at a high capacity utilization. When, however, the distribution of deal values has extreme values, the venture-capital firm will be more profitable by reducing the capacity utilization of the venture capitalists to ensure that all interesting deals can be thoroughly examined. Data from a European venture capital firm, which screened 3'631 deals during an 11 year period, was used to illustrate how hiring an additional venture capitalist would have increased the firm's expected portfolio value much more than the extra cost associated with the hire. The tool developed in the model makes it easier for managers to include extreme values, right-tail heaviness, in decision making.