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Optimized multi-echelon inventory policies in robust distribution networks

: Klingebiel, K.; Li, C.

Burczynski, T. ; European Council for Modelling and Simulation -ECMS-:
ECMS 2011, 25th European Conference on Modelling and Simulation : Jubilee Conference, June 7th - 10th, 2011, Krakow, Poland
Krakow, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-9564944-2-9
European Conference on Modelling and Simulation (ECMS) <25, 2011, Krakow>
Fraunhofer IML ()
supply chain management; multi-echelon distribution networks; inventory policy; robustness; optimization; simulation

To cope with current turbulent market demands, more robust inventory policies are needed for distribution networks, to lower the inventory cost as well as maintain high responsiveness. This paper analyzes the inventory policies in the context of complex multiechelon distribution networks and proposes an optimization and simulation integrating approach to robust inventory policies selection for multi-echelon distribution networks. Based on the existing approximation approaches designed primarily for twoechelon inventory model, an analytical multi-echelon inventory model with an efficient optimization algorithm is presented. Through systematic parameter adjustment, "optimal" inventory policies are suggested by this model. In the next step, a simulation model is applied to evaluate the proposed solutions under market dynamics, so that the most favorable ones may be selected. Finally, a case study is conducted and future research directions are suggested.