IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Flexible and Risk-Sharing Supply Contracts Under Price Uncertainty

Listed author(s):
  • Chung-Lun Li

    (John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130)

  • Panos Kouvelis

    (John M. Olin School of Business, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130)

Registered author(s):

    We study supply contracts for deterministic demand but in an environment of uncertain prices. We develop valuation methodologies for different types of supply contracts. A "time-inflexible contract" requires the firm to specify not only how many units it will purchase, but also the timing of the purchase. A "time-flexible contract" allows the firm to specify the purchase amount over a given period of time without specifying the exact time of purchase. Other than time flexibility, the suppliers may offer "quantity flexibility" to the firm as well, i.e., purchase quantities could be within a prespecified quantity window. Finally, "risk-sharing" features can be incorporated in the contract in terms of the purchase price that the firm eventually pays to a supplier. Within a prespecified price window the firm pays the realized price, but outside of it the firm shares, in an agreed way, added costs or benefits. Given the structure of a supply contract, we study the firm's decision when to purchase and how many units in each purchase such that the expected net present value of the purchase cost plus inventory holding cost is minimized. We discuss optimal purchasing strategies for both time-flexible and time-inflexible contracts with risk-sharing features. Other interesting results include the analysis of two-supplier sourcing environments and the exploitation of quantity flexibility in such contracts. Our discussion illustrates how time flexibility, quantity flexibility, supplier selection, and risk sharing, when carefully exercised can effectively reduce the sourcing cost in environments of price uncertainty.

    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: 1378-1398

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:45:y:1999:i:10:p:1378-1398
    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

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. João L. Assunção & Robert J. Meyer, 1993. "The Rational Effect of Price Promotions on Sales and Consumption," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 39(5), pages 517-535, May.
    2. Nelson, Daniel B & Ramaswamy, Krishna, 1990. "Simple Binomial Processes as Diffusion Approximations in Financial Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 393-430.
    3. Davis, Edward W., 1992. "Global outsourcing: Have U.S. managers thrown the baby out with the bath water?," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 58-65.
    4. Sriram Dasu & José de la Torre, 1997. "Optimizing an International Network of Partially Owned Plants Under Conditions of Trade Liberalization," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(3), pages 313-333, March.
    5. Cox, John C. & Ross, Stephen A. & Rubinstein, Mark, 1979. "Option pricing: A simplified approach," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 229-263, September.
    6. Telser, Lester G, 1981. "Why There Are Organized Futures Markets," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 1-22, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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:1378-1398. 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.