An investigation into sources of uncertainity within industrial supply chains : amplification, deterministic chaos & parallel interactions
Wilding, Richard David, 1965- (1997) An investigation into sources of uncertainity within industrial supply chains : amplification, deterministic chaos & parallel interactions. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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The objective of this research was to investigate the generation of uncertainty within
industrial supply chains. Since the late 1950's it has been recognised that the systems
used internally within supply chains can lead to oscillations in demand and inventory
as orders pass through the system. The uncertainty generated by these oscillations
can result in late deliveries, order cancellations and an increased reliance on inventory
to buffer these effects. Despite the best efforts of organisations to stabilise the
dynamics generated, industry still experiences a high degree of uncertainty from this
source. Greater understanding of the generation of uncertainty within the supply
chain could result in improved management of the systems and consequently
competitive advantage being gained by organisations.
The investigation used simulation models of real industrial supply chains to identify
possible sources of uncertainty. The complexity of the models was adjusted by
increasing the number of echelons and the number of channels in the supply chain.
One source of uncertainty investigated was the generation of deterministic chaos and
a methodology was developed to detect and quantify this within the supply chain.
Parallel interactions, which occur between suppliers in the same tier in the supply
chain, were also modelled and quantified.
In addition to demand amplification, which has been recognised as a source of
uncertainty by both academics and industrialists, two additional sources of uncertainty
were identified: namely deterministic chaos and parallel interactions. The relationship
between these causes of uncertainty was established and the original concept of the
"supply chain complexity triangle" is proposed. The "average prediction horizon"
was calculated by the use of Lyapunov exponents and was used to quantify the
amount of chaos experienced by supply chain members. This chaos was found to be
dependent on the number of echelons, which also impacts on the amount of chaos
experienced by all members of the supply chain, both up and down stream. Parallel
interactions impact on all the members of the supply chain resulting in reduced
performance. However, the number of channels in the supply chain modelled had
little effect on the amount of chaos. Implications for reducing supply chain
uncertainty either by managing or removing these effects is also discussed.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Business logistics|
|Official Date:||October 1997|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||School of Engineering|
|Extent:||xiv, 375 leaves|
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