Inventory management with an exogenous supply process

Alp Muharremoglu, Nan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


We study single and multistage inventory systems with stochastic lead times. We study a class of stochastic lead time processes, which we refer to as exogenous lead times. This class of lead time processes includes as special cases all lead time models from existing literature (such as Kaplan's lead times with no order crossing or independent and identically distributed lead times with order crossing, among others) but is a substantially broader class. For a system with an exogenous lead time process, we provide a method to determine base-stock levels and to compute the cost of a given base-stock policy. The method relies on relating the cost of a base-stock policy to the cost of a threshold policy in a related single-unit, single-customer problem. This single-unit method is exact for single-stage systems and for multistage systems under certain conditions. If the conditions are not satisfied, the method obtains near-optimal base-stock levels and accurate approximations of cost for multistage systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
JournalOperations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Inventory/production
  • Multiechelon, policies, review/lead times

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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