On the Lambert W function: Economic order quantity applications and pedagogical considerations


We illustrate the use of the Lambert W function by analysing two Economic Order Quantity (EOQ) scenarios: an EOQ model with perishable inventory; and a Net Present Value analysis of an EOQ problem with trim loss. Both scenarios are motivated by real-world situations. Via these two examples, we reflect upon the pedagogical aspects of using the Lambert W function. We present a Lambert W function ‘look-up’ table for classroom use and a Microsoft Excel ‘Add-In’ for self-study and practical use. We also illustrate the use of the Laplace transform to conduct NPV analyses of the EOQ model.

International Journal of Production Economcis, 40 (2), pp756–764