|Start Page Number:||401|
|End Page Number:||407|
|Publication Date:||Apr 2012|
|Journal:||European Journal of Operational Research|
|Authors:||Kim Seokjin, Huang Rongbing, Menezes Mozart B C|
|Keywords:||networks, combinatorial optimization, transportation: general, distribution|
The location of a distribution center (DC) is a key consideration for the design of supply chain networks. When deciding on it, firms usually allow for transportation costs, but not supplier prices. We consider simultaneously the location of a DC and the choice of suppliers offering different, possibly random, prices for a single product. A buying firm attempts to minimize the sum of the price charged by a chosen supplier, and inbound and outbound transportation costs. No costs are incurred for switching suppliers. We first derive a closed‐form optimal location for the case of a demand‐populated unit line between two suppliers offering deterministic prices. We then let one of the two suppliers offer a random price. If the price follows a symmetric and unimodal distribution, the optimal location is closer to the supplier with a lower mean price. We also show the dominance of high variability: the buyer can decrease the total cost more for higher price variability for any location. The dominance result holds for normal, uniform, and gamma distributions. We propose an extended model with more than two suppliers on a plane and show that the dominance result still holds. From numerical examples for a line and a plane, we observe that an optimal location gets closer to the center of gravity of demands as the variability of any supplier’s price increases.