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Inventory, Speculation, and Sourcing Strategies in the Presence of Online Exchanges

  • Joseph M. Milner

    ()

    (Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, 105 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6, Canada)

  • Panos Kouvelis

    ()

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

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    We study how online business-to-business (B2B) exchanges affect buyer-supplier relationships where an exchange takes the role of a secondary market in which buyers (of the initial product) can trade excess inventory to address supply and demand imbalances. Over the last several years, B2B exchanges have attempted to provide supply for storable industrial goods with some degree of design specification (as opposed to undifferentiated commodities). Through this research, we elucidate some aspects of how speculative online exchanges with a small number of participants might behave and the impact they will have on the use of long-term contracts for supply. By endogenizing the evolution of spot prices in response to buyers' and their supplier's actions, we produce price fluctuations that exhibit significant autocorrelation in such markets. We show that participating buyers accrue network benefits as the number of participating firms increases through the inventory-pooling effects, resulting in reduced costs for them. However, a supplier acting strategically will counteract such benefits by restricting availability of goods to the spot market, sacrificing short-term spot-market revenue for long-term contract volume.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.1060.0137
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Manufacturing & Service Operations Management.

    Volume (Year): 9 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 312-331

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormsom:v:9:y:2007:i:3:p:312-331
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    1. Seifert, Ralf W. & Thonemann, Ulrich W. & Hausman, Warren H., 2004. "Optimal procurement strategies for online spot markets," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 152(3), pages 781-799, February.
    2. Wu, D. J. & Kleindorfer, P. R. & Zhang, Jin E., 2002. "Optimal bidding and contracting strategies for capital-intensive goods," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 137(3), pages 657-676, March.
    3. Deaton, A. & Laroque, G., 1989. "On The Behavior Of Commodity Prices," Papers 145, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    4. Chung-Lun Li & Panos Kouvelis, 1999. "Flexible and Risk-Sharing Supply Contracts Under Price Uncertainty," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(10), pages 1378-1398, October.
    5. Gavirneni, Srinagesh & Morton, Thomas E., 1999. "Inventory control under speculation: Myopic heuristics and exact procedures," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 117(2), pages 211-221, September.
    6. Muermann, Alexander & Shore, Stephen H., 2006. "Strategic trading and manipulation with spot market power," CFS Working Paper Series 2006/07, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    7. Haresh Gurnani & Christopher S. Tang, 1999. "Note: Optimal Ordering Decisions with Uncertain Cost and Demand Forecast Updating," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(10), pages 1456-1462, October.
    8. Paul R. Kleindorfer & D. J. Wu, 2003. "Integrating Long- and Short-Term Contracting via Business-to-Business Exchanges for Capital-Intensive Industries," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(11), pages 1597-1615, November.
    9. Panagiotis Kouvelis & Genaro J. Gutierrez, 1997. "The Newsvendor Problem in a Global Market: Optimal Centralized and Decentralized Control Policies for a Two-Market Stochastic Inventory System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(5), pages 571-585, May.
    10. Hau Lee & Seungjin Whang, 2002. "The Impact of the Secondary Market on the Supply Chain," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(6), pages 719-731, June.
    11. D. J. Wu & Paul R. Kleindorfer, 2005. "Competitive Options, Supply Contracting, and Electronic Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 452-466, March.
    12. Eberly, Janice C. & Van Mieghem, Jan A., 1997. "Multi-factor Dynamic Investment under Uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 345-387, August.
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