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Essays on upstream sourcing

Author: Agrawal, Anupam INSEAD Area: Technology and Operations ManagementPublisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 119 p. : Graphs ; 30 cm.Type of document: INSEAD ThesisThesis Note: For the degree of Ph.D. in management, INSEAD, April 2008Bibliography/Index: Includes bibliographical referencesAbstract: In this dissertation I explore two themes in the arena of upstream sourcing in supply chain, in three essays. The first essay is a comparative case study paper and is the result of a three-year empirical investigation into the experiences of four firms in four countries in automotive industry. I show that developing relationships not only with suppliers, but also with suppliers' suppliers can help firms capture some of the value that got lost in their race of becoming a lean organization. I define and explore the concept of the Sourcing Hub, a collaborative center involving the firm, its suppliers and raw material suppliers, as the principal alignment mechanism for managing value in upstream sourcing. In the second essay I explore the concept of the sourcing hub analytically. I model game theoretic sourcing hub scenarios, and detail three facets of the sourcing hub: (a) firms can supply raw materials directly to their suppliers and this may be beneficial for the firm and its suppliers, but not for the raw material suppliers, (b) firms can bring their suppliers together at the sourcing hub, and the resulting cooperation between suppliers may be beneficial for all three entities - the firm, the suppliers and the raw material suppliers and (c) firms can decrease financing costs for raw material procurement with capital sourced at least cost at the hub. In the third essay, I detail out conditions under which suppliers, with the same technology, supplying similar components to different buyers, price the components differently. I show that depending on the existing quality levels at the suppliers and the accuracy of the buyers' in-house inspection technology, it is possible that investments in improving quality at the suppliers end may not translate into immediate benefits for the buyers. In fact, it is possible that the profits for the buyers may decrease. However, investment at the suppliers is beneficial for the buyers in the long term; and in a competitive scenario, early leads in market share can be obtained by such a policy of investment in quality at the suppliers. List(s) this item appears in: Ph.D. Thesis
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For the degree of Ph.D. in management, INSEAD, April 2008

Includes bibliographical references

In this dissertation I explore two themes in the arena of upstream sourcing in supply chain, in three essays. The first essay is a comparative case study paper and is the result of a three-year empirical investigation into the experiences of four firms in four countries in automotive industry. I show that developing relationships not only with suppliers, but also with suppliers' suppliers can help firms capture some of the value that got lost in their race of becoming a lean organization. I define and explore the concept of the Sourcing Hub, a collaborative center involving the firm, its suppliers and raw material suppliers, as the principal alignment mechanism for managing value in upstream sourcing. In the second essay I explore the concept of the sourcing hub analytically. I model game theoretic sourcing hub scenarios, and detail three facets of the sourcing hub: (a) firms can supply raw materials directly to their suppliers and this may be beneficial for the firm and its suppliers, but not for the raw material suppliers, (b) firms can bring their suppliers together at the sourcing hub, and the resulting cooperation between suppliers may be beneficial for all three entities - the firm, the suppliers and the raw material suppliers and (c) firms can decrease financing costs for raw material procurement with capital sourced at least cost at the hub.
In the third essay, I detail out conditions under which suppliers, with the same technology, supplying similar components to different buyers, price the components differently. I show that depending on the existing quality levels at the suppliers and the accuracy of the buyers' in-house inspection technology, it is possible that investments in improving quality at the suppliers end may not translate into immediate benefits for the buyers. In fact, it is possible that the profits for the buyers may decrease. However, investment at the suppliers is beneficial for the buyers in the long term; and in a competitive scenario, early leads in market share can be obtained by such a policy of investment in quality at the suppliers.

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