On inventory management for products with a stochastic selling season

Biscaro, Luca

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-630186
Document Type: Doctoral dissertation
Year of publication: 2022
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Fleischmann, Moritz
Date of oral examination: 22 June 2022
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL u. Logistik (Fleischmann 2009-)
Subject: 650 Management
Keywords (English): inventory , seasonality , stochastic selling season , demand uncertainty , demand timing , lot sizing , agrochemicals
Abstract: Managing the inventory of products with stochastic selling seasons is a highly challenging and practically relevant problem. However, the literature providing practical insights into the problem and methods to manage it is limited. In this thesis, we present three studies contributing to this literature. In the first study, we show how the parameters of the problem affect the two key inventory decisions of a firm selling this type of products, i.e. inventory quantity and timing. We also asses the effects for the firm of incorrectly considering the uncertainty of demand timing when deciding on its inventory policy. In the second study, we propose a reformulation of the scenario-approximation of the stochastic capacitated lot-sizing problem, based on cumulative demand. Our formulation significantly simplifies the problem of finding an optimal inventory policy in practical settings with demand dependencies, which naturally arise in the seasonal inventory problem considered in this thesis. In the third study, we adapt this newly developed methodology and apply it to analyze a real-world inventory management problem of an agrochemical producer facing a highly seasonal and uncertain – both in terms of quantity and timing – demand for its products.

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