Product-Line Competition: Customization vs. Proliferation
We study a market with customers who have heterogeneous preferences for product attributes. We consider two types of firms that compete on price and product variety: A traditional firm, which chooses a limited set of product configurations, and a customizing firm, which can produce any configuration to order. The traditional firm carries product inventories and experiences a lead-time delay. The customizing firm does not carry inventory, and its customers incur waiting costs until they receive their orders. We assume that the customizing firm has limited capacity in the short run (e.g., when it does not outsource production to high-volume manufacturers). We derive the equilibrium for a duopoly competition between the customizing firm and the traditional firm, study its characteristics, and compare it to a monopoly. We characterize conditions that favor customization under competition. We find that the customizing firm's profit is not monotone in the market size and its ease of customization. Similarly, a decline in the traditional firm's holding cost may increase or decrease its profit. We show that the unit cost differential between the firms crucially affects the customizing firm's ideal market size, its returns from expanding capacity, its product variety, and the way operational improvements affect its performance.
Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 12 (December)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:12:p:2039-2053. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.