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Optimal lateral transshipment policies for a two location inventory problem with multiple demand classes

A.C.C. van Wijk, I.J.B.F. Adan and G.J. van Houtum

European Journal of Operational Research, 2019, vol. 272, issue 2, 481-495

Abstract: We consider an inventory model for spare parts with two stockpoints, providing repairable parts for a critical component of advanced technical systems. As downtime costs for these systems are expensive, ready–for–use spare parts are kept in stock to be able to quickly respond to a breakdown of a system. We allow for lateral transshipments of parts between the stockpoints upon a demand arrival. Each stockpoint faces demands from multiple demand classes. We are interested in the optimal lateral transshipment policy. There are three ways in which a demand can by satisfied: from own stock, via a lateral transshipment, or via an emergency procedure. Using stochastic dynamic programming, we characterize and prove the structure of the optimal policy, that is, the policy for satisfying the demands which minimizes the average operating costs of the system. This optimal policy is a threshold type policy, with state-dependent thresholds at each stockpoint for every demand class. We show a partial ordering in these thresholds in the demand classes. In addition, we derive conditions under which the so-called hold back and complete pooling policies are optimal, two policies that are often assumed in the literature. Furthermore, we study several model extensions which fit in the same modeling framework.

Keywords: Inventory; Spare parts; Lateral transshipments; Optimal policy; Multiple demand classes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:272:y:2019:i:2:p:481-495