Title: The effect of supply chain structure on inventory management: serial or parallel?

Authors: Xiaoming Li; Qidong Cao; Thomas E. Griffin

Addresses: Department of Business Administration, Tennessee State University, 330 10th Ave. N, Nashville, TN 37203, USA ' College of Business Administration, Winthrop University, 701 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29732, USA ' H. Wayne Huzienga School of Business and Entrepreneurship, Nova Southeastern University, 3301 College Ave., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314, USA

Abstract: While the effect of lead time and its variability on the performance of supply chains continues to attract the attention of academicians and practitioners, the current research has been silent on how a topographic structural change of a supply chain simultaneously reduces both mean and variance of lead time. This study provides such an approach to concurrently reduce both mean and variance of lead time by a simple change on the supply chain structure from serial to parallel. We then show that such lead time reduction reduces mean and variance of lead time demand, which reduce cost in inventory management. We finally illustrate how our approach can be applied to more complex supply chains.

Keywords: lead time reduction; inventory management; supply chain management; serial and parallel; structural change.

DOI: 10.1504/IJOR.2021.117690

International Journal of Operational Research, 2021 Vol.42 No.1, pp.56 - 72

Received: 19 Dec 2018
Accepted: 20 Apr 2019

Published online: 21 Sep 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article