Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

In a multiple-customer-class model of demand fulfillment for a single item, we consider the use of dynamic price discounts to encourage backlogging of demand for customer classes denied immediate service. Customers are assumed to arrive over several stages in a period, and customer classes are distinguished by their contractual price and sensitivity to discounts. Through dynamic programming we determine the optimal discounts to offer, assuming a linear model for the sensitivity of customers to such inducements. We show that customers are served in class order, and allocation of inventory to demand is determined by considering the current number of customers backlogged, as well as the current inventory position. Through comparison to a naive supplier allocating inventory first come/first served with no discounting, we show that profits are primarily influenced by the allocation of capacity, and the use of price discounts primarily benefits the second-class customers' overall fill rate. Heuristics for implementation of the solution in real-time settings are given. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

Discipline

Business Administration, Management, and Operations

Research Areas

Operations Management

Publication

Operations Research

Volume

54

Issue

1

First Page

169

Last Page

183

ISSN

0030-364X

Identifier

10.1287/opre.1060.0248

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