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Coordinating a Supply Chain With a Manufacturer-Owned Online Channel: A Dual Channel Model Under Price Competition

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3 Author(s)
Ryan, J.K. ; Rensselaer Polytech. Inst., Troy, NY, USA ; Daewon Sun ; Xuying Zhao

We consider a dual channel supply chain in which a manufacturer sells a single product to end-users through both a traditional retail channel and a manufacturer-owned direct online channel. We adopt a commonly used linear demand substitution model in which the mean demand in each channel is a function of the prices in each channel. We model each channel as a newsvendor problem, with price and order quantity as decision variables. In addition, the manufacturer must choose the wholesale price to charge to the independent retailer. We analyze the optimal decisions for each channel and prove the existence of a unique equilibrium for the system. We compare this equilibrium solution to the solution for an integrated system, in which the manufacturer owns both the online store and the retailer. To enable supply chain coordination, we propose two contract schemes: a modified revenue-sharing contract and gain/loss sharing contract. We show that, in cases where the retail channel has a larger market than the online channel, such contracts enable the manufacturer to maintain price discrimination, selling the products in different channels at different prices. Finally, we perform a comprehensive numerical study to consider the impact of the model parameters on the equilibrium and to demonstrate the performance of the proposed coordination contracts. We conclude that coordination is most critical for products which are highly price sensitive and for systems in which the online and traditional retail channels are not viewed as close substitutes.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:60 ,  Issue: 2 )