Optimal replenishment and inventory financing strategy in a three-echelon supply chain under the variable demand and default risk

Ming Jong Yao, Jen Yen Lin, Chieh Lee*, Po Hung Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

As supply chains span across one or more continents, an intermediate firm becomes an inevitable supply chain component. While seller-financing options (e.g. delay in payment), are well studied, researchers have rarely investigated them from the perspective of an intermediate firm in a supply chain. We construct a three-echelon supply chain that consists of a supplier, distributor, and retailer. In our model, the supplier and distributor may offer seller financing to their buyer, but only the distributor is subject to the buyer’s default risk. We consider a seller-financing supply chain wherein either all or none of the sellers premise delay in payment and a special case where the distributor may coordinate with the supplier or retailer. An algorithm solves optimal replenishment and delay-in-payment decisions. Numerical analyses illustrate managerial insights, which show that when the retailer’s default risk is high, the distributor’s best strategy is not to offer any delay-in-payment. When the distributor–retailer coordination can subsidise the retailer’s default risk, the distributor’s best strategy is coordination with the retailer and bargaining for more financial support from the supplier. In contrast, as the retailer’s default risk is inevitable, the distributor–supplier integration is the optimal supply chain financing strategy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • credit dependent demand
  • delay-in-payment
  • Heuristic
  • Inventory financing
  • retailer’s default risk
  • three-echelon supply chain

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