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Rafay Ishfaq's research is focused on exploring the interplay between operational and service issues in retail supply chains. His research studies adapt analytical models within an empirical framework to explore the impact of strategic planning and managerial decisions on firm performance. Ishfaq has addressed these issues in multiple industry settings, including: omnichannel retail, e-commerce, healthcare, energy, automotive, and information technology.
The findings of his research studies have been published in scholarly journals including Decision Sciences, European Journal of Operational Research, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, International Journal of Logistics Management, IIE Transactions, Omega, Supply Chain Quarterly, Transportation Research (E), Journal of Operational Research Society, International Journal of Logistics Research, Journal of Transportation Research Forum, Computers & Operations Research, and Information Resource Management Journal.
Ishfaq's research has received the Association of European Operational Research Societies' "Best EJOR Research Paper Award," and "Emerald Literati Award for Research Excellence" from the International Journal of Logistics Management. His research has appeared in Science Direct's "Top-25 Hottest Articles" list in multiple years and received coverage on TV News: NPR, Bloomberg News, NBC-38, WTVM9-ABC, WSFA-12 and in print/digital media: DC Velocity, RetailWire, Supply Chain Quarterly, AL.com, Supply Chain Dive, Retail Touchpoints, Sourcing Journal, Alabama NewsCenter, Beyond Auburn, and Harbert Magazine.
Auburn University has recognized his scholarly contributions by awarding W. Allen Reed Endowed Research Professorship in Supply Chain Management. Ishfaq has also received "Outstanding Researcher Award," "Recognition in Research Award," and "Outstanding Teaching Award" from the Harbert College of Business at Auburn University. Ishfaq has served on the Harbert College’s strategic planning committee, graduate programs committee, and research committee, as well as on Auburn University's curriculum committee, research grants committee, and SACS-COC quality enhancement planning committee.
Ishfaq has been teaching full-time in the undergraduate, MBA, and executive MBA programs for over 15 years at academic institutions including Auburn University, Texas A&M University, and Loyola University Chicago. Prior to his academic career, he worked in industry for close to a decade, holding management positions in production operations and supply management. He is a member of professional organizations, including Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) and Decision Sciences Institute (DSI). He routinely presents his research findings at international academic conferences, industry seminars, and corporate board meetings. Ishfaq has provided consulting services to multiple wholesale-distribution and retail firms.