IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Quantity Flexibility Contract and Supplier-Customer Incentives

  • Andy A. Tsay

    (Department of Operations & Management Information Systems, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California 95053-0382)

Registered author(s):

    Consider a supply chain consisting of two independent agents, a supplier (e.g., a manufacturer) and its customer (e.g., a retailer), the latter in turn serving an uncertain market demand. To reconcile manufacturing/procurement time lags with a need for timely response to the market, such supply chains often must commit resources to production quantities based on forecasted rather than realized demand. The customer typically provides a planning forecast of its intended purchase, which does not entail commitment. Benefiting from overproduction while not bearing the immediate costs, the customer has incentive to initially overforecast before eventually purchasing a lesser quantity. The supplier must in turn anticipate such behavior in its production quantity decision. This individually rational behavior results in an inefficient supply chain. This paper models the incentives of the two parties, identifying causes of inefficiency and suggesting remedies. Particular attention is given to the Quantity Flexibility (QF) contract, which couples the customer's commitment to purchase no less than a certain percentage below the forecast with the supplier's guarantee to deliver up to a certain percentage above. Under certain conditions, this method can allocate the costs of market demand uncertainty so as to lead the individually motivated supplier and customer to the systemwide optimal outcome. We characterize the implications of QF contracts for the behavior and performance of both parties, and the supply chain as a whole.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 45 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 10 (October)
    Pages: 1339-1358

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:10:p:1339-1358
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:10:p:1339-1358. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.