Valuing Lead Time
Journal of Operations Management, Forthcoming
31 Pages Posted: 26 Jun 2014
Date Written: March 22, 2013
When do short lead times warrant a cost premium? Decision makers generally agree that short lead times enhance competitiveness, but have struggled to quantify their benefits. Blackburn (2012) argued that the marginal value of time is low when demand is predictable and salvage values are high. De Treville et al. (2014) used real-options theory to quantify the relationship between mismatch cost and demand volatility, demonstrating that the marginal value of time increases with demand volatility, and with the volatility of demand volatility. We use the de Treville et al. model to explore the marginal value of time in three industrial supply chains facing relatively low demand volatility, extending the model to incorporate factors such as tender-loss risk, demand clustering in an order-up-to model, and use of a target fill rate that exceeded the newsvendor profit-maximizing order quantity. Each of these factors substantially increases the marginal value of time. In all of the companies under study, managers had underestimated the mismatch costs arising from lead time, so had underinvested in cutting lead times.
Keywords: lead time, supply-chain mismatch cost, forecast evolution
JEL Classification: L60, L11, L23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation