Disruption risk and optimal sourcing in multitier supply networks


Journal Article

© 2016 INFORMS. We study sourcing in a supply chain with three levels: a manufacturer, tier 1 suppliers, and tier 2 suppliers prone to disruption from, e.g., natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods. The manufacturer may not directly dictate which tier 2 suppliers are used but may influence the sourcing decisions of tier 1 suppliers via contract parameters. The manufacturer's optimal strategy depends critically on the degree of overlap in the supply chain: if tier 1 suppliers share tier 2 suppliers, resulting in a "diamond-shaped" supply chain, the manufacturer relies less on direct mitigation (procuring excess inventory and multisourcing in tier 1) and more on indirect mitigation (inducing tier 1 suppliers to mitigate disruption risk). We also show that while the manufacturer always prefers less overlap, tier 1 suppliers may prefer a more overlapped supply chain and hence may strategically choose to form a diamond-shaped supply chain. This preference conflict worsens as the manufacturer's profit margin increases, as disruptions become more severe, and as unreliable tier 2 suppliers become more heterogeneous in their probability of disruption however, penalty contracts-in which the manufacturer penalizes tier 1 suppliers for a failure to deliver ordered units-alleviate this coordination problem.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ang, E; Iancu, DA; Swinney, R

Published Date

  • August 1, 2017

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 63 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 2397 - 2419

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1526-5501

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0025-1909

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1287/mnsc.2016.2471

Citation Source

  • Scopus