Effects of sourcing structure on performance in a multiple-product assemble-to-order supply chain
This paper addresses the strategic pricing decisions of a decentralized assemble-to-order system, and the effects of sourcing structure on system performance. We consider an assemble-to-order system consisting of two substitute products and three components manufactured by different suppliers. Demand for the products is price-sensitive. The selling prices for the products are jointly determined by firms in the system. We study the system under both centralized and decentralized decision-making situations. For the centralized system, we demonstrate that there exists a unique optimal pricing solution. For the decentralized system, we show that there exists a unique Nash equilibrium in the players' pricing game. We further analyze the effects of different sourcing structures on the system performance and the assembler's performance. We find that reduction of suppliers in the system does not guarantee improvement of system performance. Different sourcing structures have different impacts on performance. When the two dedicated components are sourced from a single supplier and the common component is sourced from another independent supplier, the system and the assembler's performance become worse. We show that the decentralized system can be effectively coordinated and the system performance can be improved with a simple profit-sharing contract. Finally, we provide comprehensive numerical examples to demonstrate some important managerial insights.
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