Ben Jones (MBA) and and PI: Prof. Seungjin Whang, (GSB)
Ohi is developing a distributed warehousing system, enabling storage of e-commerce goods significantly closer to consumers, improving both delivery and return times and markedly reducing the number of delivery miles driven. Customers are increasingly demanding same day and on-demand delivery from e-commerce retailers, but traditional logistics networks are not set up to facilitate this at low cost (both environmental and financial). The key to meeting this need is the ability to predict demand, and then forward position inventory - getting it as close to the consumer as possible before the order is placed. Traditional retailers have begun doing that through omni-channel strategies, using brick-and-mortar stores to forward position their inventory, in order to offer faster and more convenient delivery. However, this is impossible for pure e-commerce players. Ohi is building a platform that connects small businesses that have spare storage space, with ecommerce players, allowing them to use that space to forward position inventory - reducing costs, and enabling truly on-demand retail for the first time.