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Darla Moore School of Business


Sanjay Ahire

Title: Professor
ASQ-Certified Six Sigma Master Black Belt, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management, Co-Director, Operations and Supply Chain Center
Department: Operations and Supply Chain Center, Department of Management Science
Darla Moore School of Business
Phone: 803-777-2647
Office: Darla Moore School of Business, Room 401F
Resources: Curriculum Vitae [pdf]
Sanjay Ahire


Sanjay L. Ahire is a Professor of Global Supply Chain and Operations Management (GSCOM) at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. He is also the Co-Director of Operations and Supply Chain Center. He heads the Sonoco-USC Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Certification initiative at the Darla Moore School of Business. Ahire holds a Ph.D. in management science from the University of Alabama (1992). He also holds a master’s degree in management studies (1985) and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering (1982), both from the University of Bombay (India).

In March 2012, Ahire became the first tenured university professor to be certified as a Six Sigma Master Black Belt by the American Society for Quality. This was in recognition for his demonstrated expertise in strategic and tactical supply chain and internal operations consulting to manufacturing and service firms, his mentoring experience and his research accomplishments. He has led more than 100 operations/process improvement consulting projects for diverse clients, such as Avaya Telecom, Carolinas Healthcare System, Colonial Life, Cummins, General Electric, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson, MeadWestvaco, Michelin-Snider, NCR, Palmetto Health, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Siemens, Sonoco Products Company, Wal-Mart and Westinghouse Electric. These projects have helped the client firms tackle diverse challenges, including sourcing strategies, supplier collaboration, logistics and distribution networks design and optimization, and internal operations improvement in manufacturing and service organizations. Ahire has also conducted significant operations improvement projects in nonprofit social organizations such as American Red Cross, Harvest Hope Food Banks, Family Shelters, Soup Kitchens, Ronald McDonald House of Charity, SC Immigrant Violence Network, SC HIV-AIDS Council and Free Medical Clinics.

Ahire has published several research articles in various leading journals, including Management Science, European Journal of Operational Research, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Decision Sciences and IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management. His research has been well-cited and used by researchers and practicing managers. As of February 2017, Ahire’s research papers have accrued more than 4,700 citations. One of his articles on quality management has accrued more than 2,000 citations in scholarly literature ( and is one of the most cited research papers in operations management. He also has published seven refereed articles published in Interfaces, the flagship applied research/consulting scholarly journal of INFORMS, based on his consulting work with GE, Wal-Mart and others.

Ahire is also an accomplished teacher of operations improvement strategies and techniques. He received the 2002 Wickham Skinner Award for Teaching Innovation Achievements from the Production and Operations Management Society, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the University of Dayton, the 2005 Teaching Excellence Award from the Southwestern Ohio Council on Higher Education and the 2015 Alfred Smith Award for Best Professor of the Darla Moore School of Business and the university-wide 2015 Michael J. Mungo Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, both from the University of South Carolina. These awards are based on his ability to link teaching and students in his operations management classes with real-world consulting projects in a wide range of manufacturing and service firms. In the 2005 INFORMS annual conference, Ahire was a finalist in the prestigious Harvey Wagner Prize global competition for operations research consulting for his consulting work on inventory optimization with GE consumer products. He was nominated by the University of South Carolina for the national US Professor of the Year Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education; Carnegie Foundation for Advancement of Teaching) for 2015.

Ahire’s personal efforts toward enhancing the quality and outcomes of the Global Supply Chain and Operations Management program have resulted in the program’s graduates securing attractive careers in leading global firms such as 3M, Accenture, Amazon, Avaya, Bank of America, BCBS, BMW, Boeing, Colonial Life, Cummins, Deloitte, Eastman Chemical, Eaton Corporation, Ingersoll-Rand, IBM, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey Consulting, McKinsey, Michelin, PoloRalphLauren, PwC, Raytheon, Rolls Royce, Tyco, Winn-Dixie and Wipro.


Empirical evaluation of operations improvement strategies; practical application of operations improvement techniques; application of operations strategy and supply chain management principles to OM academics; high-value consulting for enhancing returns from Lean Six Sigma campaigns.


  • Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 1992
  • M.M.B., University of Bombay, India, 1985
  • B. Chem., University of Bombay, India, 1982

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