A queueing model of delayed product differentiation
Jewkes, Elizabeth M.
Alfa, Attahiru S.
We consider a production system in which a supplier produces semi-finished items on a make-to-stock basis for a manufacturer that will customize the items on a make-to-order basis. The proportion of total processing time undertaken by the supplier determines how suitable the semi-finished items will be to meet customer demand. The manufacturer wishes to determine the optimal point of differentiation (the proportion of processing completed by the supplier) and its optimal semi-finished goods buffer size. We use matrix geometric methods to evaluate various performance measures for this system, and then, with enumeration techniques, obtain optimal solutions. We find that delayed product differentiation is attractive when the manufacturer can balance the costs of customer order fulfillment delay with the costs associated with unsuitable items.
Delayed product differentiation Point of differentiation MTO queues Matrix geometric method
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