On the value of mitigation and contingency strategies for managing supply chain disruption risks. (English) Zbl 1232.90200

Summary: We study a single-product setting in which a firm can source from two suppliers, one that is unreliable and another that is reliable but more expensive. Suppliers are capacity constrained, but the reliable supplier may possess volume flexibility. We prove that in the special case in which the reliable supplier has no flexibility and the unreliable supplier has infinite capacity, a risk-neutral firm will pursue a single disruption-management strategy: mitigation by carrying inventory, mitigation by single-sourcing from the reliable supplier, or passive acceptance. We find that a supplier’s percentage uptime and the nature of the disruptions (frequent but short versus rare but long) are key determinants of the optimal strategy. For a given percentage uptime, sourcing mitigation is increasingly favored over inventory mitigation as disruptions become less frequent but longer. Further, we show that a mixed mitigation strategy (partial sourcing from the reliable supplier and carrying inventory) can be optimal if the unreliable supplier has finite capacity or if the firm is risk averse.


90B30 Production models
90B06 Transportation, logistics and supply chain management
90B05 Inventory, storage, reservoirs
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