One of the major service industry is retail, where the value of the proposed innovation can be investigated by looking at the improvements made in several processes. This is analyzed via the Process Chain Network (PCN) Analysis. The following proof of concept was built by our team for Mustafa Center, which is the largest retailer in Singapore.

This customer showcase focuses on restructuring three major service processes  using Process Chain Network (PCN) Analysis

  • Shopping process
  • Stocking process
  • Supply process


The above PCN diagram shows the chain of events during a typical shopping experience at one of the store. A customer arrives at the store, reviews his (or her) shopping list, and then must ask for directions to locate the product. Once the product is located, the customer can select from the wide choices of brands/prices, and adds it to his (or her) cart. This process can be repeated multiple times until all the items have been placed in the cart. Then, the customer goes to a payment counter, waits in the queue, and then makes the purchase.

By adding the self-scanning concept and the online app to the shopping process, the overall creation of value is smoothened. As visible in above figure, steps for (1) locating the product, and (2) making the payment are moved from a direct interaction to a surrogate interaction (towards the customer). This will help the customer by saving him (or her) time, and making him (or her) feel more independent. It will also free up some of the employees’ time.


The PCN diagram here shows the chain of events during a typical re-stocking activity at retail store. In the store, people of various departments count the stock, decide the re-order quantity, and enter the order in an in-house ledger. Periodically, someone from the store travels over to the warehouse, and hands the list of items that need to be re-stocked to the warehouse staff. The warehouse staff then manually scan the order, get the items, and load them onto their delivery truck. The truck then travels to the store, where the items are unloaded, and restocked.
More specifically, a dip in value is observed when a person has to travel over to the warehouse to hand over the list of items to them.

In order to reduce the re-ordering burden on the store, the process of re-ordering has been moved away from the store to a separate IT system. Employees of the store will enter the stock information on the system. The system will automatically trigger a notification to the warehouse, when the quantity falls below the threshold level. The warehouse will then load the items into the truck, and send over the truck to the store whenever the truck has enough number of items needed to make a trip. At the store, the items will be taken out from the truck and re-stocked.


The current supply PCN is assumed to be a standard supply chain network, due to the lack of specific information in stores. The new supply PCN would include one with the online platform concept.

The PCN, shown above, details how retail store can sell even more niche products without having to stock them (and cramp its aisles even further).
The store can host a two-sided marketplace platform, where smaller suppliers can display their products for sale. A customer can login to this platform, browse items and choose to buy the product. When the customer makes the payment, store notifies the small supplier, who then packages the product and dispatches it to the customer.
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