Alternatives for Managing Demand

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Watch this video lesson to learn what alternatives and options you have when demand for your product increases to a point where you are not able to keep up. Test your understanding with a short quiz.

What Is Demand?

In this lesson, we will talk about demand and how to manage it. We define demand as the amount of product or service that a group of customers are willing to purchase at a given price. For example, a successful burger joint might be selling 500 burgers a day. If that is what they average per day, then 500 burgers a day is their current demand from their customers. They have set the price so that their customers are willing to purchase 500 burgers a day. The burger joint is successful when they are able to meet this demand every day. Nobody walks away empty-handed and hungry.

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  • 0:01 What Is Demand?
  • 0:40 When Demand Increases
  • 1:20 Outsourcing
  • 2:29 Increasing Prices
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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When Demand Increases

But what happens when suddenly a really famous person visits the burger joint, and this famous person starts to talk about this burger joint? All of a sudden, this burger joint finds that its demand has suddenly increased to 800 burgers a day. The burger joint didn't expect this at all. Now they find that at the end of the day, all of their ingredients are gone, and they have to let hungry customers walk away empty-handed.

Why is this? It's because they were purchasing ingredients to meet their demand of 500 burgers a day. If they purchased ingredients for more, it would have gone to waste. But now, since the demand has jumped because of the famous person, the burger joint now runs out of burgers before the day is over. What can they do?

Outsourcing

The burger joint can certainly go out and buy more ingredients to make more burgers, but with their current staff, they can only make so many burgers. If they bought all those ingredients, they still wouldn't have time to make all those extra burgers. So what else can they do?

One alternative is to outsource some of their orders. To outsource means to get the products from a supplier. Perhaps they can find another restaurant to team up with that can help them meet their demand. Or, perhaps they can find a company that specializes in outsourced food orders.

Perhaps they can outsource some of the production process of their burgers to another company so that they receive burgers that are mostly done and just require the finishing touches before serving. This way, they won't have to worry about purchasing extra ingredients or worry about having the time to make all those extra burgers. Now they can focus on meeting the demand and serving enough of the burgers that the famous person liked. This way, all the customers that come in will walk away full, happy, and satisfied with the now-famous burger.

Increasing Prices

Outsourcing does sound like it could work, but the area that the burger joint is in has limited parking. The day that they had 800 orders created a huge traffic jam on the street. People stopped and refused to move until they saw a free parking spot. Yes, people were stopping traffic just so they could try the burgers.

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