On service degrade at a discount: Capacity, demand pooling, and optimal discounting
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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Volume (Year): 40 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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