Based on an industrial case study, we present a stochastic model of a supply chain consisting of a set of buyers and suppliers and a group purchasing organization (GPO). The GPO combines orders from buyers in a two-period model. Demand and price in the second period are random. An advance selling opportunity is available to all suppliers and buyers in the first-period market. Buyers decide how much to buy through the GPO in the first period and how much to procure from the market at a lower or higher price in the second period. Suppliers determine the amount of capacity to sell through the GPO in the first period and to hold in reserve in order to meet demand in the second period. The GPO conducts a uniform-price reverse auction to select suppliers and decides on the price that will be offered to buyers to maximize its profit. By determining the optimal decisions of buyers, suppliers, and the GPO, we answer the following questions: Do suppliers and buyers benefit from working with a GPO? How do the uncertainty in demand, the share of GPO orders in the advance sales market, and the uncertainty in price influence the players’ decisions and profits? What are the characteristics of an environment that would encourage suppliers and buyers to work with a GPO? We show that a GPO helps buyers and suppliers to mitigate demand and price risks effectively while collecting a premium by serving as an intermediary between them.

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Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal
Department of Econometrics

Karabag, O. (2019). Analysis of a group purchasing organization under demand and price uncertainty. Flexible Services and Manufacturing Journal, 30(4), 844–883. doi:10.1007/s10696-017-9300-z