Title: Polymer supply chain management

Authors: Sukran Kadipasaoglu, Jennifer Captain, Mark James

Addresses: Department of Decision and Information Sciences, C.T. Bauer College of Business, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, 290F Melcher Hall, Houston, TX 77204-6021, USA. ' Aspen Technology, Inc., 2500 Citywest Boulevard Suite 1500, Houston, TX 77042, USA. ' Director, Client Services, WAM Systems, 1001 South Dairy Ashford, Suite 100, Houston, TX 77077, USA

Abstract: A typical polymer supply chain network includes multiple plants, large number of storage terminals, customers and consignment locations, and complex distribution requirements. Here, we describe the complexity of polymer supply chain from |logical positivist/empiricist| viewpoint based on in-depth interviews with supply chain managers of four major polymer manufacturers and on our experience in the industry. We begin by defining marketplace and competitive environment in which polymer manufacturers do business. Then, we enumerate the requirements for manufacturing, distribution, supply chain planning and control. Next, we describe the information and decision support systems typically utilised by polymer manufacturers and present a mixed-integer network optimisation model used for decision support in Appendix A. Our objective is to allow researchers to design better studies of supply chain by providing insights into the challenges of supply chain professionals in polymers industry, and allow supply chain managers to apply more effectively in the real world the knowledge gained from research studies.

Keywords: chemicals supply chain; polymers supply chain; structured interviews; supply chain management; SCM; network optimisation modelling; decision support.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2008.016573

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2008 Vol.4 No.2, pp.233 - 253

Published online: 11 Jan 2008 *

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