Journal Articles

Inventory Rationing and Shipment Flexibility Alternatives for Direct Market Firms

2002, Production and Operations Management

Kyle Cattani, Gilvan C. Souza


This paper investigates inventory-rationing policies of interest to firms operating in a direct market channel. We model a single product with two demand classes, where one class requests a lower order fulfillment lead time but pays a higher price. Demand for each class follows a Poisson process. Inventory is fed by a production system with exponentially distributed build times. We study rationing policies in which the firm either blocks or backlogs orders for the lower priority customers when inventory drops below a certain level. We compare the performance of these rationing policies with a pure first-come, first-serve policy under various scenarios for customer response to delay: lost sales, backlog, and a combination of lost sales and backlog.


Cattani, Kyle and Givlan C. Souza (2002), "Inventory Rationing and Shipment Flexibility Alternatives for Direct Market Firms," Production and Operations Management, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 441-457.

Kelley School of Business

Faculty & Research