Buyer Intermediation in Supplier Finance
Tunca, Tunay I. and Weiming Zhu, Buyer Intermediation in Supplier Finance, 2018, Management Science, 64 (12), 5631-5650.
Posted: 28 May 2019
Date Written: December 1, 2018
Small suppliers often face challenges to obtain financing for their operations. Especially in developing economies, traditional financing methods can be very costly or unavailable to such suppliers. To reduce channel costs, large buyers have recently begun implementing their own financing methods that intermediate between suppliers and financing institutions. In this paper, we analyze the role and efficiency of buyer intermediation in supplier financing. Building a game-theoretical model, we show that buyer intermediated financing can significantly improve channel performance, and can simultaneously benefit both supply chain participants. Using data from a large Chinese online retailer and through structural regression estimation, we demonstrate that buyer intermediation lowers interest rates and wholesale prices, increases order fill rates, and boosts supplier borrowing. Based on counterfactual analysis on the data, we predict that the implementation of buyer intermediated financing will improve channel profits by 13.05%, increasing supplier and retailer profits by more than 10% each, and yielding approximately $44 million projected savings for the retailer.
Keywords: Supply Chain Management, Contracts, Reverse Factoring
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