Outsource to an OEM or an ODM? Profitability and Sustainability Analysis of a Fashion Supply Chain

Baozhuang Niu, Yaoqi Liu, Lei Chen, Ping Ji

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Consider a fashion supply chain comprising a supplier, a contract manufacturer and a fashion brand, we examine the fashion brand’s profit performances when the contract manufacturer is either an OEM (having no design capability) or an ODM (having design capability). Regarding OEM, the fashion brand designs the products, outsources the manufacturing function, and has the option of outsourcing procurement function. Regarding ODM, the fashion brand buys unlabeled products from the ODM, which is charge of designing and manufacturing. In this case, buy-back contract is widely adopted so as to share the risk of demand uncertainty between the ODM and the fashion brand. We solve the wholesale pricing problems via sequential/simultaneous optimization, and derive the buy-back price via generalize Nash bargaining. We find that, fashion brand prefers contracting with an ODM when its bargaining power in buy-back negotiation is larger than a threshold, although the fashion brand’s order size under ODM is always larger than that under OEM. Interestingly, we find that the buy-back price is decreasing in the fashion brand’s bargaining power. We further analyze the supply chain sustainability in both ODM and OEM scenarios, finding that the supply chain might achieve both environmental sustainability and economic sustainability in OEM scenario when the fashion brand’s bargaining power in buy-back negotiation is small.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-416
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Systems Science and Systems Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


  • buy-back contract
  • fashion supply chain
  • Nash bargaining
  • Outsourcing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Information Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Outsource to an OEM or an ODM? Profitability and Sustainability Analysis of a Fashion Supply Chain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this