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Managing inventory with two suppliers under yield uncertainty and risk aversion

By B.C. Giri

Abstract

In this paper, we consider a single-product single-period inventory model in which the retailer can source from two suppliers. The primary supplier is cheaper but unreliable in the sense that it generates supply yield uncertainty, whereas the secondary supplier is perfectly reliable but more expensive. The reliable supplier's capacity is fixed and the retailer cannot order more than the quantity reserved in advance. We study the problem in the context of a risk-averse retailer who has to determine the optimal order quantity from the primary supplier and the optimal reserved quantity from the secondary supplier. We develop the model in the perspective of a low risk averse retailer and quantify the risk via an exponential utility function. We show by numerical experiments how the resulting dual sourcing strategies differ from those obtained in the risk-neutral analysis. We also examine the sensitivity of some model-parameters on the optimal decisions.Inventory Yield uncertainty Dual sourcing Risk aversion

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