Analyzing the effect of the inventory policy on order and inventory variability with linear control theory. (English) Zbl 1109.90049

Summary: We apply linear control theory to study the effect of various inventory policies on order and inventory variability, which are key drivers of supply chain performance. In particular, we study a two-echelon supply chain with a stationary demand pattern under the influence of three inventory policies: an inventory-on-hand policy that bases orders on the visible inventory at an installation, an installation-stock policy that bases orders on the inventory position (on-hand plus on-order inventory) at an installation, and an echelon-stock policy that bases orders on the inventory position at that installation and all downstream installations. We prove analytically that the inventory-on-hand policy is unstable in practical settings, confirming analytically what has been observed in experimental settings and in practice. We also prove that the installation-stock and echelon-stock policies are stable and analyze their effect on order and inventory fluctuation. Specifically, we show the general superiority of the echelon-stock in our setting and demonstrate analytically the effect of forecasting parameters on order and inventory fluctuations, confirming the results in other research.


90B50 Management decision making, including multiple objectives
90B05 Inventory, storage, reservoirs
Full Text: DOI


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