Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods

Alexander Rothkopf Conferred Doctorate


Topic of Dissertation: “Supplier Selection: Volume Consolidation, Risks, and Incentive Issues”

Alexander Rothkopf, Research Assistant at the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods, successfully completed his doctoral thesis project. On 19 December 2012 he disputed his work “Supplier Selection: Volume Consolidation, Risks, and Incentive Issues”. Due to his superior and innovative work, the board of examiners conferred the distinction: summa cum laude.

In his paper-based dissertation, Dr Rothkopf examined strategic issues in the context of centralization and consolidation of procurement volumes. Applying a mathematical/economics-based approach, he investigated the related risk and incentive impacts associated with consolidation and derived important theoretical and, in particular, practical insights and implications.

Dr. Rothkopf began his dissertation project at the Institute for Supply Chain Management of EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht. Since January 2012, he has worked at the Chair of Logistics and Quantitative Methods of Julius-Maximilians-University, where he holds lectures in Supply Chain & Operations Management. He conducted numerous research and business practice projects in Purchasing & Supply Chain Management.

We are pleased that Dr. Rothkopf will continue to support our team with his excellent work.

Abstract of his Dissertation:

Consolidating purchasing volumes has become an important strategy for firms in their pursuit of lower purchasing cost. However, this strategy also entails significant operational problems and potential financial drawbacks. First, consolidation to one supplier leaves a firm vulnerable to supply disruptions. Based on a formal model, the first essay in this thesis evaluates the essential trade-off between consolidation benefits and financial consequences of disruptions. Conventional supplier strategies are critically reviewed, and in part counterintuitive recommendations for single/dual sourcing strategies are developed.

Second, firms often establish frame contracts with one supplier to consolidate volume and reap economies of scale. However, this strategy entails behavioral and incentive problems within a purchasing organization. A firm's frame contract compliance and the associated benefits are hindered by maverick buying (MB), i.e. the off-contract buying by individual purchasing agents within the organization. In the second essay, a formal model is presented that characterizes the root cause of MB, its performance impact, and the effect of commonly applied mitigation methods. One important result is that full compliance is not necessarily efficient. The third essay builds on this finding and proposes an alternative approach in dealing with MB. This approach improves a firm's earnings by participating in MB.