Supply Disruptions, Asymmetric Information and a Backup Production Option
University of Michigan Industrial and Operations Engineering Technical Report No. 07-07
54 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2007 Last revised: 3 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 2008
We study a manufacturer that faces a supplier privileged with private information about supply disruptions. We investigate how risk-management strategies of the manufacturer change, and examine whether risk-management tools are more, or less, valuable, in the presence of such asymmetric information. We model a supply chain with one manufacturer and one supplier, in which the supplier's reliability is either high or low and is the supplier's private information. Upon disruption the supplier chooses between paying a penalty to the manufacturer for the shortfall and using backup production to fill the manufacturer's order. Using mechanism design theory, we derive the optimal contract menu offered by the manufacturer. We find that information asymmetry may cause the less reliable supplier type to stop using backup production while the more reliable supplier type continues to use it. Additionally, the manufacturer may stop ordering from the less reliable supplier type altogether. The value of backup production for the manufacturer is not necessarily larger under symmetric information and, for the more reliable supplier type, it could be negative . The manufacturer is willing to pay the most for information when backup production is moderately expensive. The value of information may increase as supplier types become uniformly more reliable. Thus, higher reliability need not be a substitute for better information.
Keywords: Supply Risk, Mechanism Design
JEL Classification: D24, D82, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation