Investment in improved inventory accuracy in a decentralized supply chain
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It is known that inaccurate inventory records can lead to profit losses in a supply chain. Inventory records may not be correct due to various reasons such as transaction errors, misplacement, shrinkage, etc. In order to eliminate inventory inaccuracy, companies may invest in new information technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID). In this paper, we consider a supply chain consisting of a retailer (distributor) and a supplier. We assume a single-period newsvendor-type setting where the retailer purchases the items from the supplier and distributes them to the regional warehouses. The paper focuses on the problem of finding the optimal investment levels that maximize profit by decreasing inventory inaccuracy. The optimal level of investment is examined both for the centralized and the decentralized systems under two scenarios: inventory sharing between the warehouses is allowed and not allowed. The coordination problem is also considered for both scenarios. Finally, several extensions of the model are considered: asymmetric warehouse parameters, demand and inventory inaccuracy correlation and imperfect RFID implementation.