Exact and approximate calculation of the cycle service level in periodic review inventory policies

Autores UPV
Revista International Journal of Production Economics


The parameters of stock policies are usually determined to minimize costs while satisfying a target service level. In a periodic review policy the time between reviews can be selected to minimize costs while the order-up-to-level is based on the fulfilment of a target service level. Generally, the calculation of this service measurement is obtained using approximations based on an additional hypothesis related to the demand pattern. Previous research has shown that there is a substantial difference between exact and approximate calculations in some general circumstances, so in these cases the service level is not accomplished or the stock level is overestimated. Although an exact calculation of CSL was developed in previous work, the computational effort required to apply it in practical environments leads to the proposal of two approximate methods (PI and PII) that, with the classic approximation, are analysed and evaluated in this paper. This analysis points out the risks of using the classic approximation and leads one to suggest PII as the most suitable and accurate enough procedure to compute the CSL straightforwardly in practice. Additionally, a heuristic approach based on PII is proposed to accept or reject an inventory policy in terms of fulfilling a given target CSL. This paper focuses on uncorrelated, discrete and stationary demand with a known distribution pattern and without backlog. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.