Despite the criticality and expense of spare parts, many firms lack a coherent strategy for ensuring needed supply of spare parts. Moreover, scientific research regarding a comprehensive spare parts strategy is sparse in comparison with direct material. Our research identifies and tests three literature-based, theoretically anchored attributes that influence a buyer's preference for inventory ownership and inventory placement when managing the stock of a critical spare part. Our findings indicate that item specificity and item supply uncertainty are useful in predicting a buyer's preference for managing the inventory of a critical spare part. Furthermore, we find that buyers have (1) a strong preference for consignment-based inventory management approaches, (2) a bias against inventory speculation despite its use in practice and analytical models, and (3) a strong preference for inventory postponement when the level of supply uncertainty is low.
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- experimental design
- scenario-based role-playing experiment
- spare parts