Multimarket facility network design with offshoring applications

Lauren Xiaoyuan Lu, Jan A. Van Mieghem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Moving production to low-wage countries may reduce manufacturing costs, but it increases logistics costs and is subject to foreign trade barriers, among others. This paper studies a manufacturer's multimarket facility network design problem and investigates the offshoring decision from a network capacity investment perspective. We analyze a firm that manufactures two products to serve two geographically separated markets using a common component and two localized final assemblies. The common part can be transported between the two markets that have different economic and demand characteristics. Two strategic network design questions arise naturally: (1) Should the common part be produced centrally or in two local facilities? (2) If a centralization strategy is adopted, in which market should the facility be located? We present a transportation cost threshold that captures costs, revenues, and demand risks, and below which centralization is optimal. The optimal location of commonality crucially depends on the relative magnitude of price and manufacturing cost differentials but also on demand size and uncertainty. Incorporating scale economies further enlarges the centralization's optimality region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-108
Number of pages19
JournalManufacturing and Service Operations Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Capacity investment
  • Commonality
  • Location
  • Newsvendor network
  • Transshipment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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