Pub. online:1 Jun 2023Type:Research ArticleOpen Access
Volume 34, Issue 2 (2023), pp. 271–283
We study an inventory control problem of a perishable product with a fixed short shelf life in Dutch retail practice. The demand is non-stationary during the week but stationary over the weeks, with mixed LIFO and FIFO withdrawal. The supermarket uses a service level requirement. A difficulty is that the age-distribution of products in stock is not always known. Hence, the challenge is to derive practical and efficient order policies that deal with situations where this information is either available or lacking. We present the optimal policy in case the age distribution is known, and compare it with benchmarks from literature. Three heuristics have been developed that do not require product age information, to align with the situation in practice. Subsequently, the performance of the heuristics is evaluated using demand patterns from practice. It appears that the so-called STIP heuristic (S for Total estimated Inventory of Perishables) provides the lowest cost and waste levels.