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Forest products firms often buy much of their raw material through competitive bidding. The bidding process is vital to such companies, yet models are often used which merely help predict winning bids. Managers should consider expected returns from potential timber buying contracts-the product of profit and the prob· ability of realizing that profit. A general approach is summarized for maximizing expected profit in competitive bidding. For timber buying, profits are net returns minus stumpage costs. The probability of obtaining the profit is the probability a given bid will be accepted, and can be represented by a probability density function. The product of profit and the probability of acceptance is then maximized with respect to bid price. The approach is demonstrated for a simplified case, but can be adapted to meet the needs of individual firms.



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