Delayed differentiation for multiple lifecycle products

James D. Abbey, V. Daniel R. Guide, Jr., Gilvan C. Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modular design allows several generations of products to co-exist in the installed base as product designs change to take advantage of improved performance via modular upgrades. Use of a common base platform and modular design approach allows a firm to offer updates for improved performance and flexibility via remanufacturing when products have multiple lifecycles. However, as the product evolves through multiple lifecycles, the large pool of product variants leads to the curse of product proliferation. In practice, product proliferation causes high levels of line congestion and results in longer lead times, higher inventory levels, and lower levels of customer service. To offer insights into the product proliferation problem, the authors employ a delayed differentiation model in a multiple lifecycle context. The delayed differentiation model gives flexibility to balance trade-offs between disassembly and reassembly costs by adaptively changing the push-pull boundary. An adaptive, evolving push-pull boundary provides flexibility for a remanufacturing firm to meet changing customer demands. The delayed differentiation model includes both a mixed-integer linear program and an analytical investigation of the evolutionary nature of the push-pull boundary. Both field observations and experimental results show that the nature of product proliferation and changing demand structures play significant roles in the cost and flexibility of the evolving delayed differentiation system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-602
Number of pages15
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

Product design
Costs
Product lifecycle
Proliferation
Pull
Life cycle
Modular design
Remanufacturing
Integer
Congestion
Trade-offs
Disassembly
Evolutionary
Linear program
Lead time
Upgrade
Customer service

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Abbey, James D. ; Guide, Jr., V. Daniel R. ; Souza, Gilvan C. / Delayed differentiation for multiple lifecycle products. In: Production and Operations Management. 2013 ; Vol. 22, No. 3. pp. 588-602.
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Delayed differentiation for multiple lifecycle products. / Abbey, James D.; Guide, Jr., V. Daniel R.; Souza, Gilvan C.

In: Production and Operations Management, Vol. 22, No. 3, 05.2013, p. 588-602.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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