Dr. Cao is an assistant professor of operations management in the Edwards School of Business at the University of Saskatchewan. He teaches undergraduate and graduate classes in operations management, statistics, management science, and quality management. His research interests lie in the field of operations management, with a specialization in supply chain management, which deals with both matching supply with demand and the coordination of multi-party decision making. As a result, his work often crosses over multiple disciplines such as industrial engineering, economics, finance, marketing, and psychology. His specific niche within supply chain management is defined by two streams of work.
In the first stream, he investigates the value of introducing an online-to-store channel for a retailer that sells both online and in a brick-and-mortar location. Having this new channel of distribution will allow a retailer to leverage its existing physical assets to create value for its customers. The online-to-store channel is a modern development, brought about by the growth of ecommerce, and its use is being piloted by many well-known retailers such as Walmart and Best Buy. The viability of using an online-to-store channel is an important and relevant issue. Consequently, his research has far-reaching and practical implications for internet retailers around the world. In the second stream, his work takes on a more theoretical nature and deals with optimal product procurement and coordination in an operating environment with forecast updating and asymmetric information. On this topic, he looks at the problem from both the single-firm optimization perspective as well as the multi-party contracting and coordination perspective. Research from this second stream will help inform managers as to the value of forecasting updating.