Supply Chain Scheduling: Distribution Systems Academic Article uri icon


  • We study conflict and cooperation issues arising in a supply chain where a manufacturer makes products which are shipped to customers by a distributor. The manufacturer and the distributor each has an ideal schedule, determined by cost and capacity considerations. However, these two schedules are in general not well coordinated, which leads to poor overall performance. In this context, we study two practical problems. In both problems, the manufacturer focuses on minimizing unproductive time. The distributor minimizes customer cost measures in the first problem and minimizes inventory holding cost in the second problem. We first evaluate each party's conflict, which is the relative increase in cost that results from using the other party's optimal schedule. Since this conflict is often significant, we consider several practical scenarios about the level of cooperation between the manufacturer and the distributor. These scenarios define various scheduling problems for the manufacturer, the distributor, and the overall system. For each of these scheduling problems, we provide an algorithm. We demonstrate that the cost saving provided by cooperation between the decision makers is usually significant. Finally, we discuss the implications of our work for how manufacturers and distributors negotiate, coordinate, and implement their supply chain schedules in practice. 2006 Production and Operations Management Society.

published proceedings

  • Production and Operations Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Dawande, M., Geismar, H. N., Hall, N. G., & Sriskandarajah, C.

citation count

  • 75

complete list of authors

  • Dawande, Milind||Geismar, H Neil||Hall, Nicholas G||Sriskandarajah, Chelliah

publication date

  • June 2006