Authors: Chen, Lijian; Li, Shanling; Wang, Letian
Publication: Production and Operations Management, 2014
The authors of this article outline a capacity planning problem in which a risk-averse firm reserves capacities with potential suppliers that are located in multiple low-cost countries. While demand is uncertain, the firm also faces multi-country foreign currency exposures. This study develops a mean-variance model that maximizes the firm's optimal utility and derives optimal utility and optimal decisions in capacity and financial hedging size. The authors show that when demand and exchange rate risks are perfectly correlated, a risk-averse firm, by using financial hedging, will achieve the same optimal utility as a risk-neutral firm. In this study as well, a special case is examined regarding two suppliers in China and Vietnam. The results show that if a single supplier is contracted, financial hedging most benefits the highly risk-averse firm when the demand and exchange rate are highly negatively related. When only one hedge is used, financial hedging dominates operational hedging only when the firm is very risk averse and the correlation between the two exchange rates have become positive. With both theoretical and numerical results, this study concludes that the two hedges are strategic tools and interact each other to maximize the optimal utility. © 2013 Production and Operations Management Society.