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Product Differentiation and Capacity Cost Interaction in Time and Price Sensitive Markets

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Author Info

  • Tamer Boyaci

    ()
    (Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1G5)

  • Saibal Ray

    ()
    (Faculty of Management, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1G5)

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    Abstract

    In this paper, we study a profit-maximizing firm selling two substitutable products in a price and time sensitive market. The products differ only in their prices and delivery times. We assume that there are dedicated capacities for each product and that there is a standard industry delivery time for the regular (slower) product. The objective of the firm is to determine the delivery time of the express (faster) product and appropriately price the two products, taking into consideration the impact of delivery time reduction on capacity requirements and costs. We develop a model that integrates pricing and delivery time decisions with capacity requirements and costs, and study scenarios where the firm is constrained in capacity for none, one, or both product(s). We show how product differentiation decisions are influenced by capacity costs, and how the firm should adapt its differentiation strategy in response to a change in its operating dynamics. We first identify a market characteristic that governs the optimal pricing structure. We then show that the degree of product differentiation depends on both the absolute, as well as the relative values of the capacity costs. Provided that the capacity cost differential remains the same, higher capacity costs induce less time differentiation and less price differentiation. An increase in capacity cost differential increases price differentiation, but decreases time differentiation. The optimal prices depend, in addition to the above, on the market characteristic. We find that prices can actually decrease when the firm incurs capacity-related costs. We also explore the impact of substitutability on product differentiation, and illustrate our results in a numerical study.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.5.1.18.12757
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

    Volume (Year): 5 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 18-36

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:5:y:2003:i:1:p:18-36

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    Related research

    Keywords: product differentiation; pricing; delivery-time guarantees; time-based competition; capacity management; substitution;

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    Cited by:
    1. Modarres, Mohammad & Sharifyazdi, Mehdi, 2009. "Revenue management approach to stochastic capacity allocation problem," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 192(2), pages 442-459, January.
    2. Ülkü, M. Ali & Bookbinder, James H., 2012. "Optimal quoting of delivery time by a third party logistics provider: The impact of shipment consolidation and temporal pricing schemes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(1), pages 110-117.
    3. Qian, Li, 2011. "Product price and performance level in one market or two separated markets under various cost structures and functions," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(2), pages 505-518, June.
    4. Jayaswal, Sachin & Jewkes, Elizabeth & Ray, Saibal, 2011. "Product differentiation and operations strategy in a capacitated environment," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(3), pages 716-728, May.
    5. Fleischmann, M. & Hall, J.M. & Pyke, D.F., 2005. "A Dynamic Pricing Model for Coordinated Sales and Operations," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-074-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.
    6. Hsieh, Chung-Chi & Wu, Cheng-Han, 2009. "Coordinated decisions for substitutable products in a common retailer supply chain," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(1), pages 273-288, July.
    7. Slotnick, Susan A. & Sobel, Matthew J., 2005. "Manufacturing lead-time rules: Customer retention versus tardiness costs," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 163(3), pages 825-856, June.
    8. Ray, Saibal, 2005. "An integrated operations-marketing model for innovative products and services," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(3), pages 327-345, March.
    9. Hu, Yinan & Guan, Yongpei & Liu, Tieming, 2011. "Lead-time hedging and coordination between manufacturing and sales departments using Nash and Stackelberg games," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 231-240, April.
    10. Lu, Jye-Chyi & Tsao, Yu-Chung & Charoensiriwath, Chayakrit, 2011. "Competition under manufacturer service and retail price," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 1256-1264, May.
    11. Qian, Li, 2014. "Market-based supplier selection with price, delivery time, and service level dependent demand," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(PC), pages 697-706.
    12. Marcos Singer & Patricio Donoso & Natalia Jadue, 2004. "Evaluacion De Las Oportunidades De Mejoramiento De La Logistica Directa De Emergencia," Abante, Escuela de Administracion. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 7(2), pages 179-209.
    13. Huang, Yeu-Shiang & Chen, Si-Hen & Ho, Jyh-Wen, 2013. "A study on pricing and delivery strategy for e-retailing systems," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 71-84.
    14. Fleischmann, M. & Hall, J.M. & Pyke, D.F., 2003. "Smart Pricing: Linking Pricing Decisions with Operational Insights," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2004-001-LIS, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus Uni.

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