Note: How does product proliferation affect responsiveness?

Diwakar Gupta, Mandyam M. Srinivasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this note we consider some strategies that a manufacturing firm may use to deal with an increase in the variety of products it offers. We indicate how alternate strategies for dealing with product proliferation impact the firm's responsiveness, measured in terms of average production lead time and average work-in-process inventory. Focusing on the make-to-order environment and using queueing models, we derive conditions under which an increase in product variety can improve both individual product performance as well as system performance, thus contradicting a common belief that a greater degree of focus and greater responsiveness go hand in hand. These queueing models provide operations managers analytical tools for evaluating alternate strategies for coping with product proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1020
Number of pages4
JournalManagement Science
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1998


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