Procurement Strategies: Impacts Of Quality Risks In Hard Wheat
Development and organization of procurement strategies have escalated in importance with maturity of the food processing industry, as well as with the prospect of greater choice attributable to variety development and information technology. Conventional alternatives for procurement range from spot purchases with specifications for easily measurable characteristics, to varying forms of strategies with pre-commitment. In the case of grains these choices are complicated by two factors. First, there is intrinsic uncertainty associated with end-use qualities that are not easily measurable. Second, grain prices and therefore procurement costs vary spatially due to competing market regions. Thus, shifting origins may involve higher cost due to having to bid grain away from its next best market. We posed three procurement strategies and developed analytical models to evaluate the risks and costs among these alternatives in the case of hard red spring (HRS) wheat. The first involves no commitment. The second involves some form of irrevocable commitment and the third entails less commitment. Stochastic simulation models were developed for each with an objective of cost minimization subject to different levels of risk. The results indicate that the naive strategy has the lowest expected cost, but a fairly high probability of not conforming to end-use requirements. The constant share strategies result in higher probabilities of meeting requirements, but at substantially higher costs. The opportunistic strategy results in a higher probability of meeting requirements than either of the other two alternative strategies at a comparable cost.
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