Title: An entropy-based approach to simultaneous analysis of supply chain structural complexity and adaptation potential

Authors: Alexander Arkhipov, Dmitry Ivanov

Addresses: Department of Economics, St. Petersburg State University of Technology and Design, 191186 St. Petersburg, Russia. ' Department of Economics, Chair of Production Management and Industrial Sciences, 09126 Chemnitz, Germany

Abstract: One of the basic problems in logistic system design consists of supply chain structuring. The structuring is based on the determination of the number of elements in a supply chain, their variety, and the interrelations between them. Thus, structural complexity exists. An additional complexity is caused by the uncertainty of a real supply chain execution environment. In order to assess the potential ability of a supply chain configuration to adapt structurally, we introduce the term |supply chain adaptation potential (AP)| and propose a method for its assessment based on the system entropy. The results show that the simultaneous assessment of the structural complexity and the AP can be used as an additional indicator to select the supply chain configuration while designing supply chains.

Keywords: supply chain structure; supply chain complexity; supply chain adaptation; entropy; supply chain management; SCM; logistics system design; supply chain configuration; supply chain design.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTL.2011.039378

International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, 2011 Vol.3 No.2, pp.180 - 197

Available online: 01 Apr 2011 *

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