Title

Optimizing Inventory for Profitability and Order Fulfillment Improvement

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Business Administration

Date of Defense

5-4-2017

Graduate Advisor

Haitao Li, PhD.

Committee

Kashubeck-West, Susan

Donald C. Sweeney II

Keith Womer

Mitch Millstein

Abstract

Despite the extensive research on inventory management, few studies have investigated the optimization of inventory classification and control policies for maximizing the net present value of profit and order fulfillment performance. This dissertation aims to fill the gaps, and consists of two main essays. Essay One (Chapter 1) presents a new multi-period optimization model to explicitly address nonstationary demand, arbitrary review periods, and SKU-specific lead times, with the objective of maximizing the net present value of profit. A real-world application and computational experiments show that the optimal dynamic inventory classification and control decisions obtained from the model significantly reduce both safety stock and base stock levels compared to a multi-criteria inventory classification scheme and the traditional ABC approach. Essay Two (Chapter 2) examines two order-based fulfillment performance measures: the order fill rate, defined as the percentage of orders that are completely filled from available inventory; and the average customer-order fill rate, defined as the mean percentage of total units in a customer order that can be filled from on-hand inventory. Novel optimization models are developed to maximize the order fulfillment performance. Computational results indicate that a commonly used item-based measure in general does not adequately indicate order-based performance, and the tradeoffs between profit and order-based measures vary with inventory investment. This research contributes to the existing literature by providing new approaches to optimize inventory classification and control policies with various performance criteria. It also provides practitioners with a viable way to manage inventory with nonstationary demand, general review periods and lead times, and further allows companies to quantity the tradeoffs of different performance measures.

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