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Journal Articles European Journal of Operational Research Year : 2010

Performance evaluation of distribution strategies for the inventory routing problem

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Abstract

Direct shipping strategy is an easy-to-implement distribution strategy frequently used in industrial distribution systems. In this paper, an analytic method is developed for performance evaluation of the strategy for the infinite horizon inventory routing problem with delivery frequency constraint. With the method, the effectiveness of direct shipping strategy can be represented as a function of some system parameters. We demonstrate that the effectiveness of direct shipping is at least the square root of the smallest utilization ratio of vehicle capacity. This implies that the effectiveness of the strategy can reach 100% (respectively, 94.86%) whenever the demand rate of each retailer is 100% (respectively, 90%) of the vehicle capacity multiplied by the upper bound of the delivery frequency. This insight can help a firm answer questions such as: under what conditions direct shipping strategy is effective and why, and how effective the strategy is under a specific condition? In case direct shipping strategy is proven ineffective, a more general Fixed Partition Policy (FPP) that combines direct shipping strategy and multiple-stop shipping strategy must be used. An analytic method is also developed for performance evaluation of general FPPs. We demonstrate that the effectiveness of an FPP depends on the total demand rate of the retailers in each partition (each retailer set) and their closeness level. This insight provides a useful guideline to the design of effective FPPs. The analytic methods make the performance improvement of a distribution system possible through adjusting its system parameters.
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Dates and versions

hal-02502509 , version 1 (09-03-2020)

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Jianxiang Li, Haoxun Chen, Feng Chu. Performance evaluation of distribution strategies for the inventory routing problem. European Journal of Operational Research, 2010, 202 (2), pp.412-419. ⟨10.1016/j.ejor.2009.05.018⟩. ⟨hal-02502509⟩

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