About Consortium For Operational Excellence In Retailing (COER)

Consortium for Operational Excellence in Retailing (COER) is focused on advancing retail operations from a combined academic and business perspective. We hold an annual conference in May, alternating between Harvard Business School and The Wharton School, where we present cutting edge academic research for participants to exchange ideas, thoughts, and challenges. COER attracts companies and academics from various parts of the world.

COER began as the Harvard/Wharton Merchandising Effectiveness Project in 1996, started by Marshall Fisher of The Wharton School and Ananth Raman of Harvard Business School. The academics in COER have published dozens of papers in leading journals and many case studies that are taught at top business school. The work produced by COER was summarized recently by Fisher and Raman in the book “The New Science of Retailing,” Harvard Business School Press. COER has facilitated the work of numerous doctoral students, many of whom currently are on the faculties of leading business schools.

COER grew out of the understanding that while the retail industry now has the analytical tools to make merchandising more effective, there are still many areas where academia can help to push the retail industry forward from an operational perspective.

Consortium For Operational Excellence In Retailing (COER) @Wharton – Day 2 Quick Recap

Session Eleven: Impact of Stockouts
Presentation by Ananth Raman
Key takeaways:
* In manufacturing, a 1% increase in historical in-stock is associated with a 12% increase in demand.w
* If you have a supplier that delivers and one that doesn’t, you’ll order more from the one that does, even if at a slightly higher cost. It’s like buying insurance.

Session Twelve: Consequences of Centralizing Hiring at a Retail Chain
Presentation by Tatiana Sandino of Harvard Business School
Key takeaways:
* Employee Departures:
** Centralized hiring results in a lower rate of employee departure in more busy stores.
** Centralized hiring results in a higher rate of employee departures when the store serves service‐sensitive customers.

* Store Performance:
**Centralized hiring is associated with greater sales in distant stores: 1% increase in sales/additional 10 miles away from HQ
** Centralized hiring is associated with lower performance where customer relations may be important:
*** 7.3% decrease in sales if store serves service‐sensitive customers.
*** 0.04 point decrease in (0‐1) mystery shopper score scale when store serves repeat customers.

Session Thirteen: Demand During Store Liquidation: Local Economic Factors
Presentation by Nathan Craig of Ohio State University
Key takeaways:
* Across retail segments, revenue and asset recovery rates during store liquidation are positively associated with local median household income
* Revenue and asset recovery rates are negatively associated with local consumer sentiment
* Initial inventory, last-year revenue, local median household income, local consumer sentiment, and chain effects explain much of the variance in liquidation revenue (R2 = 0.96)

Session Fourteen: How Retailers Respond to Demand Shocks
Presentation by Vishal Gaur
Key takeaways:
* High inventory turn (HIT) retailers are able to react much more quickly than low inventory turn (LIT) retailers. Margin impact is greater for LIT, than HIT.
* HIT retailers lever is quantity changes, LIT is price changes. HIT retailer have better sustained return on assets in shocks than LIT.
* …so tune inventory for turn, vs availability.

Session Fifteen: Consortium on Patient Experience (COPE)
Presentation by Ananth Raman
Key takeaways:
* Replicate COER for patient experience. More to come…

Session Sixteen: Spatial Competition and Preemptive Entry
Presentation by Fanyin Zheng of Columbia Business School
Key takeaways:
* Deciding on store location, based on the future entry of competition.

Session Sixteen: Using Peer Feedback in Performance Evaluation
Presentation by Serena Loftus of Tulane University
Key takeaways:
* Multi-source feedback has advantages over single source
** Manager note always working w/ subs
** Manager bad evaluation
** Bias of manager.

Session Seventeen: Mobile Technology location-based marketing in Retail
Presentation by Jose Guajardo of Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Key takeaways:
* Effectiveness: Non-GEO < GEO < Facebook * Distribution: Non-GEO > GEO > Facebook