Assessing the value of information sharing and its impacts on the performance of the various links in supply chain networks
Our goal through this research is to study the impact of sharing several pieces of information simultaneously in different configurations of supply chains. The valuation in this case is expressed in terms of logistics’ costs reduction compared to the scenario of non information sharing. We have evaluated the gain in the overall supply chain, but also at each link, and more specifically at each elementary cost of a particular link. The choice of the shared information is based on their importance in the supply chain management as well as their source (upstream and downstream) in order to establish different exchange mechanisms and negotiation between various links. We have started our work by studying the sharing of one, two and three pieces of information simultaneously. Our approach is developed in the context of a mono-product serial supply chain consisting of one supplier, one warehouse, one retailer and customers. We have developed a mathematical model in order to evaluate the gains provided by the sharing of different kinds of information in the context of decentralized decision. In this model, we have injected a perturbation in the shared information in order to be more realistic. The detailed experimental study that we have conducted also has highlighted the necessity to establish incentive cooperation mechanisms between the various links in the supply chain, when the gains are almost beneficial exclusively to only one of the links or are particularly unbalanced. These mechanisms are intended in order to lead to a win-win balance between participants. In the second part of our work, we have considered the case of a decentralized decision with sharing simultaneously two pieces of information. This part is carried out in the context of a mono-product and a divergent supply chain integrating several retailers. The quantities allocation from the warehouse to retailers is made in a pro rata assignment policy based on retailers’ orders. We have proposed to establish cooperation mechanisms required to guarantee a balance gain between the different links in different sharing scenarios. We have noted that the sharing in its various forms has led to significant reduction cost for the overall supply chain. We have considered later the case of a centralized decision at the warehouse with an assignment of products in order to minimize the supply chain cost. Finally, our approach has been extended to the study of the distribution of gains between retailers for different customer demand configurations. This has allowed us to identify the beneficiaries of this information sharing in different studied contexts. The obtained gains are rarely balanced between links; this resulted in imposing the establishment of cooperative mechanisms incentive for sharing. We have concluded by the fact that a decentralized decision with information sharing is close in performance to a centralized context and we plan to continue this comparative study by taking into account all costs and benefits of these two pilot modes.
KEYWORDS: Supply chain, Information sharing upstream / downstream, Cooperation, Decentralized decision, Centralized decision, Value of information