Simultaneous design and planning of supply chains with reverse flows: A generic modelling framework

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The increase in societal awareness towards environmental issues has accrued the responsibility of goods producers, which at present came to encompass the entire product life cycle. Recently, the efficient design and operation of supply chains with return flows have, in particular, become a major challenge for many companies, given the high number of factors involved and their intricate interactions. In this paper, a multi-period and multi-product network model for the simultaneous design and planning of supply chains with reverse flows is proposed. A graph approach based on the conventional concepts of nodes and arcs is employed to model the network, where it is assumed that any network node is a transformation point of inbound into outbound flows, which in the limit may not differ, and that related arcs describe products flows along the chain. In here the formulation of time adopts a management perspective, i.e., the strategic design of the supply chain is dealt simultaneously with the tactical planning of its operation, which covers supply, production, storage and distribution. An example based on a Portuguese industry case is studied in order to validate both the applicability and adequacy of the model to real world problems. (C) 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)336-349
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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