Quantifying the bullwhip effect in a simple supply chain: the impact of forecasting, lead times, and information. (English) Zbl 1231.90019

Summary: An important observation in supply chain management, known as the bullwhip effect, suggests that demand variability increases as one moves up a supply chain. In this paper we quantify this effect for simple, two-stage supply chains consisting of a single retailer and a single manufacturer. Our model includes two of the factors commonly assumed to cause the bullwhip effect: demand forecasting and order lead times. We extend these results to multiple-stage supply chains with and without centralized customer demand information and demonstrate that the bullwhip effect can be reduced, but not completely eliminated, by centralizing demand information.


90B05 Inventory, storage, reservoirs
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