Supporting hurricane inventory management decisions with consumer demand estimates
Morrice, D. J.
Butler, J. C.
Journal of Operations Management
86 - 100
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Matching supply and demand can be very challenging for anyone attempting to provide goods or services during the threat of a natural disaster. In this paper, we consider inventory allocation issues faced by a retailer during a hurricane event and provide insights that can be applied to humanitarian operations during slow-onset events. We start with an empirical analysis using regression that triangulates three sources of information: a large point-of-sales data set from a Texas Gulf Coast retailer, the retailer's operational and logistical constraints, and hurricane forecast data from the National Hurricane Center (NHC). We establish a strong association between the timing of the hurricane weather forecast, the forecasted landfall position of the storm, and hurricane sales. Storm intensity is found to have a weaker association on overall inventory decisions. Using the results of the empirical analysis and the NHC forecast data, we construct a state-space model of demand during the threat of a hurricane and develop an inventory management model to satisfy consumer demand prior to a hurricane making landfall. Based on the structure of the problem, we model this situation as a two-stage, two-location inventory allocation model from a centralized distribution center that balances transportation, shortage and holding costs. The model is used to explore the role of recourse, i.e., deferring part of the inventory allocation until observing the state of the hurricane as it moves towards landfall. Our approach provides valuable insights into the circumstances under which recourse may or may not be worthwhile in any setting where an anticipated extreme event drives consumer demand.
State space methods
Sources of informations
State - space models
Published Version (Please cite this version)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jom.2016.05.006
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