Mathematical modeling of the Bullwhip Effect in supply chains
Jose Carlos Fioriolli - Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - 
The increase in demand variability as information flows from customers to manufacturers in a supply chain is known as the Bullwhip Effect (BE). Modeling this phenomenon is fundamental in measuring its intensity, aiming at reducing its negative impacts on both service and inventory levels in the supply chain. In this dissertation we propose a new, more precise mathematical model for quantifying the BE in systems with stochastic demand and lead time. The new model takes into account the lead time variability and is adjusted to a more realistic treatment of negative order quantities that may arise in some inventory cycles, two elements not present in the main available models in the literature. In addition, the model enables a more precise assessment of the role that the demand coefficient of variation plays in the quantification of the BE. The use of the proposed model enables an improved management of the supply chain by attenuating the propagation of the BE, increasing the service level and reducing inventory levels both locally and globally. In this dissertation, the main models for quantifying the BE are presented and analyzed, with emphasis in the works of Lee et al. (1997b), Chen et al. (2000), Fransoo and Wouters (2000) and Warburton (2004); in that analysis were identified several deficiencies, able to generate severe distortions in the quantification of the BE. The proposed model fully overcomes these deficiencies and presents elements that indicate that the intensity and stochastical and serial behavior of the BE can only be appropriately modeled if the lead time variability is considered and if inventory excesses are used in the order size calculation. The new model, in addition to contribute to the understanding of the BE dynamics enriching its analysis, represents appropriately the complexity of relationships among variables associated with the BE, contributing to its high predictive capacity. Finally, it is demonstrated that the model in Chen et al. (2000) represents a special case of the proposed model.
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