By Jimmiy Markham | Nov. 5, 2021
A new center at the Naveen Jindal School of Management is poised to become a hub of engagement between retail industry leaders and students and faculty at The University of Texas at Dallas.
The Naveen Jindal School of Management is home to the Center for Retail Innovation and Strategy Excellence.
The first job for the Center for Retail Innovation and Strategy Excellence (RISE) may be to shift consumer perceptions.
“For many people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of retail is a brick-and-mortar giant like Walmart or, for e-commerce, Amazon,” said Charles Haseman, professor of practice in marketing and director of RISE. “For me, it’s the customer experience.”
Haseman said his goal for RISE is to be “the back office” of retail to help the industry implement best practices that will help improve those experiences.
“All our strengths at this university — data management and analysis, computer science and the latest technologies such as cryptocurrency — all of that is very real in retail,” he said.
“Even so, the consumer doesn’t care what’s behind the curtain. They want a great customer experience. But to be able to do that, companies have to focus on the behind-the-scenes technology and data manipulation. That’s what has made retail what it is today. That’s what we’re focused on at RISE.”
Haseman pointed to the term “omni-channel” as the current state of retail, and said the back office is key to navigating an omni-channel environment.
“Whether it’s catalogs, brick and mortar, e-commerce or direct-to-consumer delivery, if a company doesn’t have all of these on their pallet, they’re not going to survive,” he said. “The customer experience has to be outstanding on all those fronts.”
Haseman said the center’s efforts will be based on what he calls the three P’s — preparation, partnership and process.
“Preparation — that’s getting the students ready,” he said. “Partnership — that’s the corporations all across the world that we want to work with. Process — that’s where the researchers come in.
“We have outstanding faculty at the Jindal School conducting that kind of groundbreaking operations research. Dr. B.P.S. Murthi [director of the Morris Hite Center], Dr. Özalp Özer [the George and Fonsa Brody Professor in Management] and Dr. Nanda Kumar [professor of marketing] are the lead researchers who will be involved with RISE.”
Haseman anticipates working with other faculty across multiple disciplines, including global supply chain, marketing analytics, e-commerce, pricing management, channel strategies, customer lifetime value, information systems and mobile technology.
Charles Haseman, professor of practice in marketing and director of the Center for Retail Innovation and Strategy Excellence
The center also has an advisory board, which includes Ray Hemmig, chairman of the board of Retail and Restaurant Growth Capital and a seasoned retail industry leader who is a past chairman of and continues to serve on the Jindal School Advisory Council.
“There are some amazing opportunities for us at UT Dallas to take advantage of the unprecedented disruption and digital transformation occurring in the retail space,” Haseman said.