Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Aptitude for Supply chain Management & Logistics

  1. May 16, 2006 #1
    I have an aptitude test in a Suppy chain management Company for the post of Software developer ( fresher).
    What kind of questions should I expect?
    Thanks !
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    What are the responsiblities of this position? That should give one some idea of some types of questions. Does one develop particular software related to logistics, or other unique applications?

    Presumably one should be familiar with logistics and databases (and database software), and then generally, problem solving, programming, analysis, data presentation.

    A programmer has to develop efficient programs (based on models) to process data/information with which to simulate a process, and then provide statepoints and output (results) in a comprehensible format.
  4. May 16, 2006 #3


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    Supply chain management and logistics deal with distribution, trucking, and warehousing. So the software you would be called on to write would assist the managers and agents in those activities. Your database would have to associate items with locations and locations with each other. Questions would arise like: In order to supply item X to city Y we could use warehouse A or warehouses B and C. A can supply the quantity required all by itself whereas B and C would have to combine their stocks to make up the quantity; that's an advantage for A. On the other hand B and C are both closer to to city Y than A is; that's an advantage for them. All of these things would be quantized and your programs would seek the optimum choice. And there would be dozens or hundreds of such decisions a day, which is why software is needed.

    Other options are restocking the warehouses (price vs quantity and quality) and supporting sales; the firm may want to present online menus to its clients to enable them to figure out their own logistic problems using the firm's resources, and of course your software is what makes those menus work.
  5. May 16, 2006 #4
    Thanks Astronuc and selfAdjoint for the prompt reply.
    The company's site defines the following responsibilities :

    * Understanding product requirements published by product management.
    * Design, develop, test and maintain software components.
    * Participate in design and code reviews.

    So what topics in Mathematics/Aptitude should I be more prepared for ?

    Thanks again
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2006
  6. May 16, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    There are several standard supply chain related problems that you are more likely to find on a test paper than in an interview. You should be aware of the big ones :

    - basic linear optimization of cost/profit
    - the transportation problem (described by SA above)
    - inventory control
    - sequencing and scheduling
    - forecasting

    It may help to be aware of some of the common algorithms/methods used in the above areas (Simplex, Branch & Bound algorithms for the LP problem; the transportation algorithm and the Vogel approximation; ARIMA and Bass models for forecasting, etc.)

    I just read the requirements in post#4, and based on that, I doubt they'll ask you much about the above stuff. More likely they might ask you to compare search and sort algorithms or make numerical estimates ("how many ping-pong balls will fit into a Boeing 747 ?"). There might also be some of the standard questions like "why are manhole covers circular ?".

    It may also help to be aware of some of the well known problems in the field : the traveling salesman problem, the trim-loss problem, etc.

    Is this a pen an paper test, or an interview ?
    Last edited: May 16, 2006
  7. May 16, 2006 #6
    Thanks everyone for so many useful inputs.
    Its a multiple choice aptitude test followed by an interview.
    Are there any sources/books I can refer to?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook