Contracting to Assure Supply: How to Share Demand Forecasts in a Supply Chain
Forecast sharing is studied in a supply chain with a manufacturer that faces stochastic demand for a single product and a supplier that is the sole source for a critical component. The following sequence of events occurs: the manufacturer provides her initial forecast to the supplier along with a contract, the supplier constructs capacity (if he accepts the contract), the manufacturer receives an updated forecast and submits a final order. Two contract compliance regimes are considered. If the supplier accepts the contract under forced compliance then he has little flexibility with respect to his capacity choice; under voluntary compliance, however, he maintains substantial flexibility. Optimal supply chain performance requires the manufacturer to share her initial forecast truthfully, but she has an incentive to inflate her forecast to induce the supplier to build more capacity. The supplier is aware of this bias, and so may not trust the manufacturer's forecast, harming supply chain performance. We study contracts that allow the supply chain to share demand forecasts credibly under either compliance regime.
Volume (Year): 47 (2001)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
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