Sharing inventory risk in supply chain: The implication of financial constraint

Guoming Lai, Laurens G. Debo, Katia Sycara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


A supply chain may operate under either preorder mode, consignment mode or the combination of these two modes. Under preorder, the retailer procures before the sale and takes full inventory risk during the sale, while under consignment, the retailer sells the product for the supplier with the supplier taking the inventory risk. The combination mode shares the risk in the supply chain. The existing research has examined the supply chain modes from various operational aspects. However, the impact of financial constraint is neglected. This paper examines the impact of financial constraint and investigates the supply chain efficiency under each mode. Based on a Stackelberg game with the supplier being the leader, we show that without financial constraint the supplier always prefers the consignment mode, taking full inventory risk. Whereas, in the presence of financial constraint, the supplier will sell part of the inventory to the retailer through preorder, which shares the inventory risk in the supply chain. We show that with financial constraint, the combination mode is the most efficient mode even if the retailer earns zero internal capital.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811–825
Number of pages15
Issue number4
Early online date23 Aug 2008
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • newsvendor model
  • Stackelberg game
  • preorder
  • consignment
  • bankruptcy


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