Matching supply and demand using dynamic quotation strategies
Today's competitive markets force companies to constantly engage in the complex task of managing their demand. In make-to-order manufacturing or service systems, the demand of a product is shaped by price and lead times, where high price and lead time quotes ensure profitability for supplier, but discourage the customers from placing orders. Low price and lead times, on the other hand, generally result in high demand, but do not necessarily ensure profitability. The price and lead time quotation problem considers the trade-off between offering high and low prices and lead times. The recent practices in make-to- order manufacturing companies reveal the importance of dynamic quotation strategies, under which the prices and lead time quotes flexibly change depending on the status of the system. In this dissertation, the objective is to model a make-to-order manufacturing system and explore various aspects of dynamic quotation strategies such as the behavior of optimal price and lead time decisions, the impact of customer preferences on optimal decisions, the benefits of employing dynamic quotation in comparison to simpler quotation strategies, and the benefits of coordinating price and lead time decisions. I first consider a manufacturer that receives demand from spot purchasers (who are quoted dynamic price and lead times), as well as from contract customers who have agree- ments with the manufacturer with fixed price and lead time terms. I analyze how customer preferences affect the optimal price and lead time decisions, the benefits of dynamic quo- tation, and the optimal mix of spot purchaser and contract customers. These analyses necessitate the computation of expected tardiness of customer orders at the moment cus- tomer enters the system. Hence, in the second part of the dissertation, I develop method- ologies to compute the expected tardiness in multi-class priority queues. For the trivial single class case, a closed formulation is obtained. For the more complex multi-class case, numerical inverse Laplace transformation algorithms are developed. In the last part of the dissertation, I model a decentralized system with two components. Marketing department determines the price quotes with the objective of maximizing revenues, and manufacturing department determines the lead time quotes to minimize lateness costs. I discuss the ben- efits of coordinating price and lead time decisions, and develop an incentivization scheme to reduce the negative impacts of lack of coordination.