An integrated supplier selection and inventory problem with multi-sourcing and lateral transshipments

Academic Article


  • In this research, we consider the supplier selection problem of a firm offering a single product via multiple warehouses. The warehouses face stationary, stochastic demand and replenish their inventory via multiple suppliers, to be determined from a set of candidates, with varying price, capacity, quality, and disruption characteristics. Additionally, the warehouses may simultaneously replenish their inventory from other warehouses proactively. With these characteristics, the problem is a multi-sourcing, supplier selection, and inventory problem with lateral transshipments. Even though the benefits of multi-sourcing and lateral transshipments have been presented in the literature individually to mitigate risks associated with uncertain demand and disrupted supply, the intertwined sourcing and inventory decisions under these settings have not been investigated from a quantitative perspective. We develop a decomposition based heuristic algorithm, powered with simulation. While the decomposition based heuristic determines a solution with supplier selection and inventory decisions, the simulation model evaluates the objective function value corresponding to each generated solution. Experimental results show, contrary to the existing literature, inferior decisions may result when considering the selection of suppliers solely on unit and/or contractual costs. We also evaluate the impact of multi-sourcing with rare but long disruptions compared to frequent but short ones.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Firouz M; Keskin BB; Melouk SH
  • Start Page

  • 77
  • End Page

  • 93
  • Volume

  • 70