Analysis of consignment contracts for spare parts inventory systems
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We study a Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) partnership between a manufacturer and a retailer. More specifically, we consider a consignment contract, under which the manufacturer assumes the ownership of the inventory in retailer’s premises until the goods are sold, the retailer pays an annual fee to the manufacturer and the manufacturer pays the retailer backorder penalties. The main motivation of this research is our experience with a capital equipment manufacturer that manages the spare parts (for its systems) inventory of its customers in their stock rooms. We consider three factors that may potentially improve the supply chain efficiency under such a partnership: i-) reduction in inventory ownership costs (per unit holding cost) ii-) reduction in replenishment lead time and iii-) joint replenishment of multiple retailer installations. We consider two cases. In the first case, there are no setup costs; the retailer (before the contract) and the manufacturer (after the contract) both manage the stock following an (S − 1, S) policy. In the second case, there are setup costs; the retailer manages its inventories independently following an (r, Q) policy before the contract, and the manufacturer manages inventories of multiple retailer installations jointly following a (Q, S) policy. Through an extensive numerical study, we investigate the impact of the physical improvements above and the backorder penalties charged by the retailer on the total cost and the efficiency of the supply chain.
Vendor Managed Inventory
Joint Replenishment Problem
Supply Chain Contracts