New media for information technology-enabled environments: channel competition, demand shaping, and service network design

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Zhang, Bo, doctor of management science and information systems

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During the past decade, advances in information technology have profoundly impacted the business sector. In this dissertation, we focus on three aspects of the changes that influence firms' strategic and operational decisions. For the first research problem, we attempt to understand the competition between an online store and a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer. We incorporate multi-channel customers in our model, and investigate the implications of existence of multichannel customers on the effectiveness of profit-enhancing strategies for the retailer and online store. For the second problem, we study how manufacturers may incorporate information on anticipated demand and supply into its pricing and inventory allocation decisions. Our pricing policy highlights the interaction among the demands for multiple substitutable products as well as limited resource availability shared by the products. For the third problem, we study the complex tradeoffs that network planners face between minimizing the total cost of the network configuration while meeting end-to-end service requirements such as limits on traversal time or reliability. We propose a service network design model formulation for finding a minimum-cost network design in which the selected routes satisfy service requirements.