Quotation Silbermayr, Lena, Minner, Stefan. 2016. Dual sourcing under disruption risk and cost improvement through learning. European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR). 250 (1), 226-238.




As suppliers are crucial for successful supply chain management, buying companies have to deal with the risks of supply disruptions due to e.g. labor strikes, natural disasters, supplier bankruptcy, and business failures. Dual sourcing is one potential countermeasure, however, when applying it one loses the full potential of economies of scale. To provide decision support, we analyze the trade-off between risk reduction via dual sourcing under disruption risk and learning benefits on sourcing costs induced by long-term relationships with a single supplier from a buyer’s perspective. The buyer’s optimal volume allocation strategy over a finite dynamic planning horizon is identified and we find that a symmetric demand allocation is not optimal, even if suppliers are symmetric. We obtain insights on how reliability, cost and learning ability of potential suppliers impact the buyer’s sourcing decision and find that the allocation balance increases with learning rate and decreases with reliability and demand level. Further, we quantify the benefit of dual sourcing compared to single sourcing, which increases with learning rate and decreases with reliability. When comparing the optimal policy to heuristic dual sourcing policies, a simple 75:25 allocation rule turns out to be a very robust policy. Finally, we perform sensitivity analysis and find that increasing certainty about supplier reliability and increasing risk aversion of a buyer yield more balanced supply volume allocations among the available suppliers and that the advantage of dual sourcing decreases with uncertainty about supplier reliability. Further, we discuss the impact of demand uncertainty.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal European Journal of Operational Research (EJOR)
Citation Index SCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, INF-A, STRAT-A, VW-B, WH-A
Language English
Title Dual sourcing under disruption risk and cost improvement through learning
Volume 250
Number 1
Year 2016
Page from 226
Page to 238
Reviewed? Y
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2015.09.017
Open Access N


Silbermayr, Lena (Details)
Minner, Stefan (TU M√ľnchen, Germany)
Institute for Production Management (Reiner) (Details)
Information Systems and Operations Management DP (Details)
Institute for Production Management IN (Details)
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