Retailer's optimal sourcing strategy by using one major supplier and one emergent supplier

David M. Chiang, Ruey Shan Guo, Fan-Yun Pai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Fast-changing market demand, short product life cycle, and unpredictable events have been enforcing companies in a supply chain to respond to customers' needs as quickly as possible. While many firms are still seeking a better inventory management within the general business environment, this paper develops an ordering decision support model within a business environment with more unpredictable events. To reduce the uncertainty, a retailer adopts a double sourcing policy with one major supplier and one emergent supplier. Through a two-period dynamic programming model formulation and the simulations based on design of experiments, we analyzed the effects of factors such as penalty cost, backup ratio, purchasing cost ratio, and demand correlation coefficient on retailer's ordering policy and expected profit. Detailed sensitivity analysis is further conducted based on combinations of penalty cost and backup ratio. Results show that the use of an emergent supplier help increase the retailer's expected profits. It not only increases the retailer's upstream sourcing flexibility, but also increases the retailer's service level with a lower inventory level. As penalty cost or backup ratio increases, the contribution of emergent supplier increases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-331
Number of pages13
JournalOptimization Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Optimization

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