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石铎 助理教授:3D Printing and Product Assortment Strategy
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Title:
3D Printing and Product Assortment Strategy
Speaker:
石铎 助理教授,管理与经济学院,香港中文大学,深圳
Inviter: 胡晓东 研究员
Time & Venue:

2021.9.1610:00 N602

Abstract:

3D printing, as a production technology, distinguishes from conventional technologies in three characteristics: design freedom, i.e., it can handle certain product designs that conventional technologies cannot; quality differentiation, i.e., for the same product design, it might achieve a different quality, higher or lower than that of conventional technologies; and natural flexibility, i.e., it is endowed with capacity flexibility without sacrificing operational efficiency. This paper investigates the joint impact of these characteristics when a firm selects conceptual designs to form its product assortment, taking into account each design's production technology choice from 3D printing and two conventional technologies: dedicated and traditional flexible. Some designs can be handled by any technology (generic), whereas the others are specific to 3D printing (3D-specific). The firm selects designs to be handled by each technology and then invests accordingly in technology adoption, product development, capacity, and production. We characterize the structure of the optimal assortment based on the popularity of each design. Within the sets of generic designs and 3D-specific designs, respectively, the most popular designs should be selected into the assortment; under a mild condition, the optimal assortment comprises the most popular ones among all the designs. Within the optimal assortment, 3D printing should handle the less popular generic designs than conventional technologies. We further demonstrate that a greater design freedom or higher quality of 3D printing may reduce product variety. In the absence of design freedom and quality differentiation, natural flexibility by itself always enhances product variety; by contrast, the traditional flexible technology may reduce product variety. Numerical study shows that 3D printing tends to be more valuable when popularities of the generic designs have a lower Gini index and when popularities of the 3D-specific designs have a higher Gini index.

Affiliation: Duo Shi is an Assistant Professor of Operations Management in School of Management and Economics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. He received his PhD in Operations & Manufacturing Management from Olin Business School, Washington University in St. Louis in 2018. Prior to that, he graduated from the Hua Loo-Keng Talent Program in Mathematics, University of Science and Technology of China. Duo uses analytical modeling to address the operational issues of firms and government agencies. His works have been published in/accepted by Management Science and Production & Operations Management.

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