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Inventory Management With Alternative Delivery Times (Paperback) (Xiaoying Liang & Lijun Ma & Haifeng
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This book develops a modeling framework to analyze the problem of inventory management with alternative delivery times. The general context considered here is that a seller replenishes its inventory in fixed intervals and, between replenishments, allocates the limited inventory to satisfy customers who are both price and delivery-time sensitive. On the demand side, customers have heterogeneous delivery-time requirements and choose either spot or late delivery. This theoretical modeling captures the essence of real-world business practices such as the delivery time market segmentation strategy adopted by automobile dealerships in China and many other similar examples. The book focuses on the seller’s optimal inventory replenishment and demand fulfillment policies, and our results provide managerial insights into the merits of flexible delivery-time options. Similar applications such as the group-buying mechanism are also examined. The main mathematical tool used in theoretical analysis is dynamic programming. This book is written for students, researchers, and practitioners in the areas of operations management and industrial engineering who are interested in understanding the rationale of flexible delivery times and designing successful applications.