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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The effect of supplier capacity on the supply chain profit

  • Author(s): Adida, E
  • Perakis, G
  • et al.

© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. In this paper, we study the role of capacity on the efficiency of a two-tier supply chain with two suppliers (leaders, first tier) and one retailer (follower, second tier). The suppliers compete via pricing (Bertrand competition) and, as one would expect in practice, are faced with production capacity. We consider a model with differentiated substitutable products where the suppliers are symmetric differing only by their production capacity. We characterize the prices, production amounts and profits in three cases: (1) the suppliers compete in a decentralized Nash equilibrium game, (2) the suppliers “cooperate” to optimize the total suppliers’ profit, and (3) the two tiers of the supply chain are centrally coordinated. We show that in a decentralized setting, the supplier with a lower capacity may benefit from restricting her capacity even when additional capacity is available at no cost. We also show that the loss of total profit due to decentralization cannot exceed 25 % of the centralized chain profits. Nevertheless, the loss of total profit is not a monotonic function of the “degree of asymmetry” of the suppliers’ capacities. Furthermore, we provide an upper bound on the supplier profit loss at equilibrium (compared with the cooperation setting) that depends on the “market power” of the suppliers as well as their market size. We show that there is less supplier profit loss as the asymmetry (in terms of their capacities) increases between the two suppliers. The worst case arises when the two suppliers are completely symmetric.

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