Economic Analysis of Production Bottlenecks
Lawrence, Stephen R.
Buss, Arnold H.
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The management of bottlenecks has become a central topic in the planning and control of production systems. In this paper, we critically analyze bottlenecks from an economic perspective. Using a queueing network model, we demonstrate that bottlenecks are inevitable when there are differences in job arrival rates, processing rates, or costs of productive resources. These differences naturally lead to the creation of bottlenecks both for facilities design and demand planning problems. To evaluate bottlenecks from an economic perspective, we develop the notion of an "economic bottleneck," which defines resources as bottlenecks based on economic, rather than physical, characteristics.
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