Impact of reseller's and sales agent's forecasting accuracy in a multilayer supply chain

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Abstract

We consider a three-layer supply chain with a manufacturer, a reseller, and a sales agent. The demand is stochastically determined by the random market condition and the sales agent's private effort level. Although the manufacturer is uninformed about the market condition, the reseller and the sales agent conduct demand forecasting and generate private demand signals. Under this framework with two levels of adverse selection intertwined with moral hazard, we study the impact of the reseller's and the sales agent's forecasting accuracy on the profitability of each member. We show that the manufacturer's profitability is convex on the reseller's forecasting accuracy. From the manufacturer's perspective, typically improving the reseller's accuracy is detrimental when the accuracy is low but is beneficial when it is high. We identify the concrete interrelation among the manufacturer-optimal reseller's accuracy, the volatility of the market condition, and the sales agent's accuracy. Finally, the manufacturer's interest may be aligned with the reseller's when only the reseller can choose her accuracy; this alignment is never possible when both downstream players have the discretion to choose their accuracy. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Naval Research Logistics 61: 207–222, 2014

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