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Information sharing in supply chains


  • Fiala, P.


Supply chain is defined as a system of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and customers where material, financial and information flows connect participants in both directions. Most supply chains are composed of independent agents with individual preferences. It is expected that no single agent has the power to optimise the supply chain. Supply chain management is now seen as a governing element in strategy and as an effective way of creating value for customers. The so-called bullwhip effect, describing growing variation upstream in a supply chain, is probably the most famous demonstration that decentralised decision making can lead to poor supply chain performance. Information asymmetry is one of the most powerful sources of the bullwhip effect. Information sharing of customer demand has an impact on the bullwhip effect. Information technology has lead to centralised information, shorter lead times and smaller batch sizes. The analysis of causes of the bullwhip effect has lead to suggestions for reducing the bullwhip effect in supply chains by strategic partnership. Supply chain partnership leads to increased information flows, reduced uncertainty, and a more profitable supply chain. The cooperation is based on contacts and formal agreements. Information exchange is very important issue for coordinating actions of units. New business practices and information technology make the coordination even closer. Information sharing and strategic partnerships of units can be modelled by different network structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Fiala, P., 2005. "Information sharing in supply chains," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 419-423, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:33:y:2005:i:5:p:419-423

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hau L. Lee & V. Padmanabhan & Seungjin Whang, 1997. "Information Distortion in a Supply Chain: The Bullwhip Effect," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 43(4), pages 546-558, April.
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