The Value of Coordination in a Two Echelon Supply Chain: Sharing Information, Policies and Parameters
Social Science Research Network
___________________________________________________________ We study a coordination scheme in a two echelon supply chain. It involves sharing details of replenishment rules, lead-times, demand patterns and tuning the replenishment rules to exploit the supply chain's cost structure. We examine four different coordination strategies; naïve operation, local optimisation, global optimisation and altruistic behaviour on behalf of the retailer. We assume the retailer and the manufacturer use the
... -Up-To policy to determine replenishment orders and end consumers demand is a stationary i.i.d. random variable. We derive the variance of the retailer's order rate and inventory levels and the variance of the manufacturer's order rate and inventory levels. We initially assume that costs in the supply chain are directly proportional to these variances (and later the standard deviations) and investigate the options available to the supply chain members for minimising costs. Our results show that if the retailer takes responsibility for supply chain cost reduction and acts altruistically by dampening his order variability, then the performance enhancement is robust to both the actual costs in the supply chain and to a naïve or uncooperative manufacturer. Superior performance is achievable if firms coordinate their actions and if they find ways to re-allocate the supply chain gain.