Omni-channel Retailing | SMU Research

Hi, my name is Lim Yun Fong. I’m an Associate Professor of Operations Management at SMU. I invented actually a new course
call Digital Business Essentials. So it’s basically essentially talking about
eCommerce and Omni-channel Retailing. In short, Omni-channel Retailing is a
sales approach that combines the advantages of a brick and mortar store
and the convenience of online shopping. So there’s a large demand for online
shopping, for online retailing and it’s mainly due to the younger generation in
South-East Asia. However, many of these eCommerce and
Omni-channel Retailing companies they don’t have a good way to
do the logistics efficiently. So that is a point where I get interested because I was trained as a supply chain researcher,
so I am interested in how companies run more efficiently and then so that they can
capture this a big demand and this big wave of digital consumers. My research basically lies in between
engineering and business, so basically we are using some of engineering approaches to solve some business problems. When we talk about information flow, we talk about basically the supply information as well
as the demand information. You know, we develop the algorithms that can help them to solve the replenishment problems. When are you going to you know
replenish it from a supplier. When they receive the goods from a supplier you know how are you gonna
allocate it to these different warehouses, considering that you know the demand is
fluctuating from time to time and also the transportation cost from different
warehouses to different markets are actually different. And then on top of that, we can
also help the companies to decide which warehouse to retrieve the items
from when a demand occurred you know when they receive a customer orders
shall I retrieve it from the Shanghai’s warehouse or shall I retrieve it
from a Hong Kong’s warehouse. So these sort of decisions is actually
captured in our model. So our algorithm can actually decide these three major decisions, namely the replenishment decisions, the allocation decisions, as well as
fulfillment decisions. With the abundance of data on the internet nowadays, many companies are actually able to
capture all this data. And they are also able to extract useful insights from this data. With a better planning and with better methodologies
for the back end logistics, we can actually better leverage the
information that we garner from the internet and make a better planning
for the companies. At the end of day, when companies used these methodologies to help them to do their logistics planning, It can actually help them to save a significant cost. This research area is meaningful and
is very relevant at this time for South-East Asia and in particularly for Singapore.

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