Professor Rachna Shah is an Associate Professor in Supply Chain and Operations Department at Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. Rachna received her PhD in Management Science, and an MBA/MHA in Finance from Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University. Her undergraduate degrees are in Economics and mathematics/statistics from Delhi University, New Delhi, India. Before pursuing her doctorate, Rachna worked in the healthcare practice of a management consulting firm.
Professor Shah is globally recognized for her research in lean operations both in manufacturing and service industries. In 2004, she received the prestigious “Shingo Award for Excellence in Research” for her paper “Lean manufacturing: Context, Practice bundles and Performance” published in Journal of Operations Management (JOM) – This, and one other paper continue to be in the Top 10 most downloaded paper since their publication online on the journal website. In 2007, she received the “Wickham Skinner Early Career Research Accomplishment Award” from the Production and Operations Management Society (POMS). The award is given to a junior faculty for conducting research with a strong potential to impact theory and practice, and for overall research productivity.
Professor Shah leverages her knowledge of lean and waste-eliminating, problem-solving culture in her current research on identifying causes of quality failures in automotive and healthcare delivery processes. She is investigating the product recall phenomenon in automotive, medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Her research on automotive recalls shows that the economic cost of extremely high factory utilization (nearing overtime levels) translates into a recall cost of $167 million over seven years. A separate examination in nursing homes has shown similar results. Professor Shah’s research is being used by the FDA and Fortune 500 companies to redesign the production and recall processes. Her research has been published in Management Science, Journal of Operations Management, and Production and Operations Management among others.
Professor Shah teaches operations management, lean operations, and statistics at the undergraduate, MBA and Ph.D. level. She was intimately involved in studying and developing a clinical protocol for STEMI, one of the most serious heart attacks, at Minneapolis Heart Institute. She has received several grants from the McKnight Foundation to study healthcare delivery processes. She has presented her research both in academic and industry settings. Rachna enjoys reading, cooking and playing contract bridge/sudoku in her free time.