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On service degrade at a discount: Capacity, demand pooling, and optimal discounting

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  • Su, Ping
  • Tian, Zhongjun
  • Wang, Haiyan
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    Abstract

    In this paper we study the capacity investment decisions and operational strategies of a firm providing two-class services facing uncertain demands. The capacity decisions of the resources are made before demands are observed. Each service can be implemented by its corresponding resource. Should a mismatch between the capacity and the actual demand for the services arise, the low-class resource can be used as a substitute for the high-class service. We introduce an operational strategy called degrade-at-a-discount, where a price discount is offered to motivate customers to accept a lower class service when their original choice is out of capacity. By formulating the problem as a one-period, two-stage stochastic problem, we analyze how to set up the optimal capacity and the optimal discount. We also conduct a comprehensive numerical study to show the benefits of the degrade-at-a-discount strategy.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Omega.

    Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 358-367

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:40:y:2012:i:3:p:358-367

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    Keywords: Supply chain management; Capacity investment; Stochastic programming;

    References

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    1. Harrison, J. Michael & Van Mieghem, Jan A., 1999. "Multi-resource investment strategies: Operational hedging under demand uncertainty," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 17-29, February.
    2. Huang, Di & Zhou, Hong & Zhao, Qiu-Hong, 2011. "A competitive multiple-product newsboy problem with partial product substitution," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 302-312, June.
    3. Jan A. Van Mieghem & Nils Rudi, 2002. "Newsvendor Networks: Inventory Management and Capacity Investment with Discretionary Activities," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 4(4), pages 313-335, August.
    4. Mahesh Nagarajan & S. Rajagopalan, 2008. "Inventory Models for Substitutable Products: Optimal Policies and Heuristics," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(8), pages 1453-1466, August.
    5. Amit Eynan & Thierry Fouque, 2003. "Capturing the Risk-Pooling Effect Through Demand Reshape," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(6), pages 704-717, June.
    6. Yu, Dennis Z. & Tang, Sammi Y. & Niederhoff, Julie, 2011. "On the benefits of operational flexibility in a distribution network with transshipment," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 350-361, June.
    7. Jan A. Van Mieghem, 1998. "Investment Strategies for Flexible Resources," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(8), pages 1071-1078, August.
    8. Khouja, Moutaz, 1999. "The single-period (news-vendor) problem: literature review and suggestions for future research," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 537-553, October.
    9. Dutta, Pankaj & Chakraborty, Debjani, 2010. "Incorporating one-way substitution policy into the newsboy problem with imprecise customer demand," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 200(1), pages 99-110, January.
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