Continuous time control of make-to-stock production systems
We consider the problem of production control and stock rationing in a make-tostock production system with multiple servers –parallel production channels--, and several customer classes that generate independent Poisson demands. At decision epochs, in conjunction with the stock allocation decision, the control specifies whether to increase the number of operational servers or not. Previously placed production orders cannot be cancelled. We both study the cases of exponential and Erlangian processing times and model the respective systems as M /M /s and M /Ek /s make-to-stock queues. We characterize properties of the optimal cost function, and of the optimal production and rationing policies. We show that the optimal production policy is a state-dependent base-stock policy, and the optimal rationing policy is of state-dependent threshold type. For the M /M /s model, we also prove that the optimal ordering policy transforms into a bang-bang type policy when we relax the model by allowing order cancellations. Another model with partial ordercancellation flexibility is provided to fill the gap between the no-flexibility and the full-flexibility models. Furthermore, we propose a dynamic rationing policy for the systems with uncapacitated replenishment channels, i.e., exogenous supply systems. Such systems can be modeled by letting s --the number of replenishment channels-- go to infinity. The proposed policy utilizes the information on the status of the outstanding replenishment orders. This work constitutes a significant extension of the literature in the area of control of make-to-stock queues, which considers only a single server. We consider an arbitrary number of servers that makes it possible to cover the spectrum of the cases from the single server to the infinite servers. Hence, our work achieves to analyze both the exogenous and endogenous supply leadtimes.