Vendor-Buyer Coordination in Supply Chains Defended on Friday, 21 May 2010

Collaboration between firms in order to coordinate supply chain operations can lead to both strategic and operational benefits. Many advanced forms of collaboration arrangements between firms exist with the aim to coordinate supply chain decisions and to reap these benefits. This dissertation contributes to the understanding of the conditions that are necessary for collaboration in such arrangements and the benefits that can be realized of such collaboration arrangements. This dissertation focuses on the vendor-buyer dyad in the supply chain. We identify and categorize collaboration arrangements that exist in practice, based on a review of the literature and combine this with formal analytical models in the literature. An important factor in the benefits of collaboration is the benefit of reduced costs of transport, by realization of economies of scale in the context of capacity-constrained trucks. As a contribution to the understanding of the dependence of transport costs on the volume transported, we demonstrate how transport tariffs for orders of less-than-a-truckload in size on a single link can be deduced from a basic model.
The success of a collaboration arrangement depends on agreement about the distribution of decision authority and collaboration-benefits. We study a collaboration arrangement in which the vendor takes responsibility for managing the buyer's inventory and makes it economically attractive to the buyer by offering a financial incentive, dependent on the maximum level the buyer permits to be stocked. This dissertation demonstrates that this incentive alignment leads to considerable cost savings and near-optimal supply chain decisions.


supply chain coordination, VMI, vendor managed inventories, incentive alignment, transport tariffs

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