Title: Virtual Distribution Systems: an integrated model with research initiatives

Authors: Eric W.T. Ngai, Bernard K.S. Cheung, S.S. Lam

Addresses: Department of Management and Marketing, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Kowloon, Hong Kong, PR China. ' GERAD and Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal, GERAD-HEC 3000, Chemin de la Cote Sainte-Catherine, Montreal, Quebec H3T 2A7, Canada. ' School of Business and Administration, The Open University of Hong Kong, Homantin, Hong Kong, PR China

Abstract: In this article, we attempt to give a comprehensive review of how classical supply chain models have evolved with advances in information technology and its related branches of knowledge. To illustrate a possible solution to meet the challenges of the present day, we propose a model of a Virtual Distribution System for a supplier (or a group of suppliers) to use in planning and operating the distribution of goods and merchandise to customers over the entire region. These customers often demand that the products they have ordered be delivered to their preferred destinations in a highly efficient way. The modular structure of this system enables it to be more flexible and responsive to dynamic changes in the market. Illustrative example of the solution obtained by the main distribution model is given in the paper.

Keywords: information technology; integrated modelling; virtual distribution systems; supply chain models; supply chain management; SCM; modular structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2008.015928

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2008 Vol.4 No.1, pp.61 - 79

Published online: 02 Dec 2007 *

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