Offshore versus Onshore Sourcing: Quick Response, Random Yield, and Competition

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Motivated by the recent reshoring initiatives, we study firms’ global sourcing strategies from two different supply sources, offshore and onshore supply bases, under supply and demand uncertainty. Interestingly, even though onshore sourcing has a significant benefit from market responsiveness, offshore sourcing having no cost advantage also provides benefits in the presence of yield uncertainty and market competition. If competing firms commit single sourcing, one firm may choose inferior offshore sourcing to dampen competition. When a dual-sourcing option is available, firms always utilize dual sourcing, offshore sourcing as well as onshore sourcing, for risk pooling purpose. Our result shows that risk pooling is an essential driver in supplier selection in that the need for dual sourcing cannot be eliminated by other influential factors (e.g., responsiveness and competition effect). However, we find that firms may suffer from a dual-sourcing option under competition. This contrasts with the conventional wisdom that dual sourcing benefits firms in the presence of supply uncertainty. When it comes to order allocation, market responsiveness is not necessarily an order winner since it does not lead to a larger order to an onshore supplier if demand is guaranteed above a certain level. Under competition, firms’ order allocation is mainly determined by supply yield correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)750-766
Number of pages17
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Production and Operations Management Society

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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