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Joint pricing and inventory replenishment decisions with returns and expediting. (English) Zbl 1237.90033
Summary: We study a single-item periodic-review model for the joint pricing and inventory replenishment problem with returns and expediting. Demand in consecutive periods are independent random variables and their distributions are price sensitive. At the end of each period, after the demand is realized, a buyer can return excess stocks to a supplier. Or, if there are stockouts, the buyer can place an expediting order at the supplier to reduce the amount of shortage. Unfilled demands are fully backlogged. We characterize the optimal dynamic policy that determines the pricing, inventory replenishment, and adjustment decisions in each period so that the total expected discounted profit is maximized. For a very general stochastic demand function, we can show that the optimal replenishment policy is a modified base-stock policy, the optimal pricing policy is a modified base-stock-list-price policy, and the optimal policy for inventory adjustment follows a dual-threshold policy. We further study the operational effect of returns and expediting. Analytical and numerical results demonstrate that returns and expediting lead to a significant profit increase in a number of situations, including limited supply capacity, sufficient flexibility of the expediting order, high demand uncertainty, and a price-sensitive market.

90B05 Inventory, storage, reservoirs
90C15 Stochastic programming
90C39 Dynamic programming
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