Stanley Lim is a scholar in retail operations management and business-to-consumer logistics. He is especially interested in examining operational issues at the interface between retail supply chain management and end consumers. He has developed a stream of research that is grounded in practice with a strong managerial emphasis. Stanley adopts an interdisciplinary perspective to improve operations’ theory and practice. Specifically, he integrates work in operations management, marketing and economics and leverages customer behavior analytics to inform how and under what conditions can retailers best distribute their products and services to the end consumers. At present, he focuses on understanding the economics of distribution services in digital and nondigital retail with applications in omni-channel retailing, food waste management, and last-mile supply chains, covering the four A’s: (1) accessibility of location and information, (2) availability of inventory, (3) assurance of product delivery, and (4) assortment planning (please see below for an overview of the research agenda). These areas comprise the four core services retailers provide to help consumers reduce their search and transaction costs.
Based on this research agenda, Stanley and co-authors have developed analytical models for the design of store networks and facility locations, workload and job assignments, and service and replenishment policies. These include, for example, models to predict failed delivery attempts in routing models, estimate the opportunity cost of product stockouts to inform inventory planning, determine the optimal return window for consumer return policies, and evaluate the degree of spatial competition to guide the design of store market areas. He has also examined the effects of contract terms on retailer and supplier’s bargaining power and their economic outcomes, drivers’ workload on their delivery performance, subscription models on consumer behaviors, and consumers’ sensitivities to lead times and their product return behaviors across digital and nondigital channels.
Stanley’s research uses primarily archival and experimental data. As part of his research efforts, he has worked with a number of companies including Imperfect Foods, Jerome’s Furniture, PostTag, Amazon U.K., Tesco, Ocado, Alliance Boots, Argos, and Unilever, amongst others. Stanley has been a Visiting Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University and Arizona State University, and an Affiliate Member at MIT Megacity Logistics Lab. He is a Charter Mentor of the Branchfood network, the largest community of food entrepreneurs and innovators in New England.
His Ph.D. dissertation was the Winner of the 2018 Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award (Operations & Production Management Category), and Winner of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s (CILT) James Cooper Memorial Cup 2019. Stanley also has won several best paper awards, including Best Student Paper at 2022 DSI Annual Conference (by a student co-author), Finalist for 2019 Service Science Best Cluster Paper at INFORMS Annual Meeting, Best Applications-oriented Paper at 2019 Annual EDSI Conference, 2018 IJOPM Highly Commended Paper (Runner up for Outstanding Paper of the Year), 2018 Chris Voss Best Paper and 2016 Harry Boer Best Student Paper at EurOMA Conference, and 2018 Meritorious Paper (Industrial Logistics category) awarded by CILT. He is recipient of the 2020 Paul R. Lawrence Fellowship, competitively awarded by the North American Case Research Association and Case Research Foundation.
Stanley’s research activities have been funded by the 2016 (Top Award) and 2018 Henry Spurrier Scholarships and the You Poh Seng Research Grant, which are honors competitively awarded by the CILT and Singapore University of Social Sciences, respectively. He has worked on projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.K. Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council. His research has been published or forthcoming at Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, and California Management Review. Stanley reviews for Management Science, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Business Logistics, Naval Research Logistics, and Decision Sciences Journal. He has also served as a guest associate editor at Journal of Operations Management for a special issue on omni-channel retailing. He is co-editing a special issue on innovations, technologies, and the economics of last-mile operations at the journal. He frequently serves as session chairs on empirical retail operations and economics of retail distribution services at INFORMS and POMS annual conferences.
Prior to academia, Stanley spent several years as an officer in the Singapore Guards, an elite Infantry formation specializing in rapid deployment, heliborne and amphibious operations, maneuver warfare and urban combat. He then went on to assume roles as Intelligence Analyst, Lead Engineer and Logistics Planner, Technical Consultant with expertise in wireless and satellite communication and IT, and eventually rising to become Head Engineering and Operations Group in the Ministry of Defence. He has received several awards and medals for distinguished performance during his service. He has professional experience in project management, system life-cycle management, and the application of lean six sigma techniques.
Stanley holds a Ph.D. in Supply Chain Management from the University of Cambridge and three master’s degrees: an M.C.S. from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, an M.Sc. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from National University of Singapore, and an M.B.A. (Distinction) from Warwick Business School. His MBA dissertation on three-dimensional vehicle routing problem in urban city logistics won the Certificate of Excellence. He also holds a B.Eng. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) with First Class Honors and was placed on the Dean’s List for three consecutive years. His final-year thesis on next generation virtual bass system that developed new algorithms using psychometric signal processing techniques won the Distinction Award. He was also awarded the coveted EEE Excellence Award for outstanding achievement in academic and core-curriculum activities. Outside of academia, Stanley is a Gold Award holder of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In his free time, Stanley loves to run and enjoys photography.
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- IASSC Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (ICGB)
- ITILv3 Foundation Certificate in Service Management
- Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP)
- VMware Certified Professional (VCP)
- Certified Cloud Computing Specialist (CCCS)
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