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A real-time decision rule for an inventory system with committed service time and emergency orders

  • Huang, Shuo
  • Axsäter, Sven
  • Dou, Yifan
  • Chen, Jian
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    In this paper, we study the inventory system of an online retailer with compound Poisson demand. The retailer normally replenishes its inventory according to a continuous review (nQ, R) policy with a constant lead time. Usually demands that cannot be satisfied immediately are backordered. We also assume that the customers will accept a reasonable waiting time after they have placed their orders because of the purchasing convenience of the online system. This means that a sufficiently short waiting time incurs no shortage costs. We call this allowed waiting time "committed service time". After this committed service time, if the retailer is still in shortage, the customer demand must either be satisfied with an emergency supply that takes no time (which is financially equivalent to a lost sale) or continue to be backordered with a time-dependent backorder cost. The committed service time gives an online retailer a buffer period to handle excess demands. Based on real-time information concerning the outstanding orders of an online retailer and the waiting times of its customers, we provide a decision rule for emergency orders that minimizes the expected costs under the assumption that no further emergency orders will occur. This decision rule is then used repeatedly as a heuristic. Numerical examples are presented to illustrate the model, together with a discussion of the conditions under which the real-time decision rule provides considerable cost savings compared to traditional systems.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377221711004541
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Journal of Operational Research.

    Volume (Year): 215 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (November)
    Pages: 70-79

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:215:y:2011:i:1:p:70-79
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eor

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    1. Tong Wang & Beril L. Toktay, 2008. "Inventory Management with Advance Demand Information and Flexible Delivery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(4), pages 716-732, April.
    2. Chiang, Chi & Gutierrez, Genaro J., 1996. "A periodic review inventory system with two supply modes," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 527-547, November.
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    9. Kalpakam, S. & Sapna, K. P., 1995. "A two reorder level inventory system with renewal demands," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 402-415, July.
    10. Rema Hariharan & Paul Zipkin, 1995. "Customer-Order Information, Leadtimes, and Inventories," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(10), pages 1599-1607, October.
    11. P. L. Abad, 1996. "Optimal Pricing and Lot-Sizing Under Conditions of Perishability and Partial Backordering," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 42(8), pages 1093-1104, August.
    12. Kamran Moinzadeh & Steven Nahmias, 1988. "A Continuous Review Model for an Inventory System with Two Supply Modes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(6), pages 761-773, June.
    13. San José, L.A. & Sicilia, J. & Garcia-Laguna, J., 2006. "Analysis of an inventory system with exponential partial backordering," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 76-86, March.
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