Research Project #9

Topic: Demand Shaping Strategies in Omni-channel Retailing

Project Description: In an omni-channel retail environment, consumers can switch between available channels throughout their shopping journey. For example, consumers can visit stores to touch/feel/try the product, and then they can purchase it through online channels – sometimes at competitors. This kind of consumer behavior can hurt omni-channel retailers’ top- and bottom-line due to varying cost structures across available channels. This project deals with optimization of a multi-channel retailer’s tactical and operational level decisions regarding pricing, advertising, and inventory management in the face of evolving consumer behavior and various cost structures across available channels. By taking these dynamics into account, this project strives to provide insights into “optimal demand shaping” policies that lie in the Marketing – Operations Management interface through quantitative modeling and/or empirical studies.

Host Supervisor: The PhD student will be jointly supervised by Asst. Prof. Nevin Mutlu and Prof. Tom van Woensel within the OPAC (Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control) Group of the School of Industrial Engineering at TU/e.

Host Institution: TU/e is a research university specializing in engineering science & technology. The School of Industrial Engineering is one of the longest-established IE Schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research, design, and education community, especially in the field of Operations Management and Operations Research. The graduate programs (MSc, PDEng, and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics attract top-level candidates from all over the world. The OPAC Group closely collaborates with industry partners, and has an excellent track record of conducting practice-based research. The research and education at the OPAC group of the School of Industrial Engineering has specific emphasis on:

  • Planning and Control in Manufacturing, Services, and Supply Chains;
  • Distribution Logistics;
  • Maintenance and Reliability;
  • Finance and Accounting, oriented towards operational processes.

Secondments: This position includes 2 secondments to a partner organisation. The planned secondments will be to

  • BlueRock Logistics (under supervision of Prof. Dr. Hein Fleuren and Wouter Lammerse), in month 18 for 2 months, for ‘concept feedback’.
  • BlueRock Logistics (under supervision of Prof. Dr. Hein Fleuren and Wouter Lammerse), in month 30 for 2 months, for ‘model testing and validation’.