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Aktuelle Projekte in Supply-Chain-Strategie

Ensuring responsive capacity: How to contract with backup suppliers

Firms that source from offshore plants frequently perceive the lack of reliability and flexibility to be among the major drawbacks of their strategy. To mitigate against imminent mismatches of uncertain supply and demand, establishing capacity hedges in the form of responsive backup suppliers is a way out that many firms follow. This article analyzes how firms should contract with backup suppliers, inducing the latter to install responsive capacity. We show that supply options are appropriate to achieve sourcing channel coordination under forced compliance, whereas any firm commitment contract imposes a deadweight loss on the system. Whereas price-only contracts are unable to coordinate the sourcing channel under voluntary compliance, utilization-dependent price-only contracts are. Under the former contract, a price-focused strategy on the part of the manufacturer turns out to diminish the system’s service level and possibly has negative implications on installed backup capacity, and not least on the manufacturer’s profit.

Sting, F., & Huchzermeier, A. (2010). Ensuring responsive capacity: How to contract with backup suppliers. European Journal of Operational Research Volume 207, Issue 2, S. 725-735.

Top-down, bottom-up, or both? Toward an integrative perspective on operations strategy formation

Operations strategy is formed via complex processes that transpire in multiple directions at multiple organizational levels. While most previous studies focus on the “macro-level” process of strategy formation from the dominant top-down perspective, this study investigates the “micro-level” process of strategy formation that governs interactions among competitive priorities, objectives, and action plans within operations. Using 111 (59 top-down and 52 bottom-up) action plans collected from six German manufacturing plants, we build on Kim and Arnold's (1996) framework and propose an integrated process model of operations strategy formation that encompasses both top-down planning and bottom-up learning.




We also identify a contingency factor that affects their balance: centralized versus decentralized organizational structure. Finally, based on the analysis of their respective strategic content, we provide evidence concerning the complementary roles of top-down and bottom-up action plans in operations strategy.

Kim, Y.-H., Sting, F., & Loch, C. (2014). Top-down, bottom-up, or both? Toward an integrative perspective on operations strategy formation. Journal of Operations Management Volume 32, Issues 7–8, S. 462-474.

Dual Sourcing: Responsive Hedging against Correlated Supply and Demand Uncertainty

This article analyzes dual sourcing decisions under stochastically dependent supply and demand uncertainty. A manufacturer faces the trade-off between investing in unreliable but high-margin offshore supply and in reliable but low-margin local supply, where the latter allows for production that is responsively contingent on the actual demand and offshore supply conditions. Cost thresholds for both types of supply determine the optimal resource allocation: single offshore sourcing, single responsive sourcing, or dual sourcing. Relying on the concept of concordance orders, we study the effects of correlation between supply and demand uncertainty. Adding offshore supply to the sourcing portfolio becomes more favorable under positive correlation, since offshore supply is likely to satisfy demand when needed. Selecting responsive capacity under correlated supply and demand uncertainty is not as straightforward, yet we establish the managerially relevant conditions under which responsive capacity either gains or loses in importance.

Sting, F., & Huchzermeier, A. (2012). Dual Sourcing: Responsive Hedging against Correlated Supply and Demand Uncertainty. Naval Research Logistics Volume 59, Issue 1, S. 69-89.