IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Optimising safety stock placement and lead time in an assembly supply chain using bi-objective MAX–MIN ant system

Listed author(s):
  • Moncayo-Martínez, Luis A.
  • Zhang, David Z.
Registered author(s):

    The problem of placing safety inventory over a network, which assembles a product, is a challenging issue in supply chain design (SCD) because manufacturers always want to reduce inventory all over the supply chain (SC). Moreover, the process of designing a SC and then placing inventory, to offer high service level at the lowest possible cost, across a complex SC, is not an easy task for decision makers. In this paper we use the SC representation proposed by Graves and Willems (2000), Manufacturing & Service Operations Management 2 (1), 68–83, where a SC is divided into many supplying, manufacturing, and delivering stages. Our problem is to select one resource option to perform each stage, and based on the selected options to place an amount of inventory (in-progress and on-hand) at each stage, in order to offer a satisfactory customer service level with as low as possible total supply chain cost. A resource option here represents a supplier, a manufacturing plant (production line), or a transport mode in a supplying, manufacturing, or delivering stage, respectively. We developed an approach based on ant colony optimisation (ACO) to minimise simultaneously the total supply chain cost and the products’ lead time to ensure product deliveries without delays. What are new in our approach are the bi-objective function and the computational efficiency of our ACO-based approach. In addition, ACO has not been applied to solve the inventory placement problem. As a validation of the model, we: (a) describe a successful application at CIFUNSA, one of the largest iron foundry in the world, and (b) compare different CPU time instances and metrics about multi-objective optimisation.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Production Economics.

    Volume (Year): 145 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 18-28

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:145:y:2013:i:1:p:18-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2012.12.024
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Sean P. Willems, 2008. "Data Set--Real-World Multiechelon Supply Chains Used for Inventory Optimization," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 10(1), pages 19-23, February.
    2. Spitter, J. M. & Hurkens, C. A. J. & de Kok, A. G. & Lenstra, J. K. & Negenman, E. G., 2005. "Linear programming models with planned lead times for supply chain operations planning," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 163(3), pages 706-720, June.
    3. Moncayo-Martínez, Luis A. & Zhang, David Z., 2011. "Multi-objective ant colony optimisation: A meta-heuristic approach to supply chain design," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(1), pages 407-420, May.
    4. Stephen C. Graves & Sean P. Willems, 2000. "Optimizing Strategic Safety Stock Placement in Supply Chains," Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, INFORMS, vol. 2(1), pages 68-83, June.
    5. Gunasekaran, Angappa & Lai, Kee-hung & Edwin Cheng, T.C., 2008. "Responsive supply chain: A competitive strategy in a networked economy," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 549-564, August.
    6. Amini, Mehdi & Li, Haitao, 2011. "Supply chain configuration for diffusion of new products: An integrated optimization approach," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 313-322, June.
    7. Gravel, Marc & Price, Wilson L. & Gagne, Caroline, 2002. "Scheduling continuous casting of aluminum using a multiple objective ant colony optimization metaheuristic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 143(1), pages 218-229, November.
    8. Wang, Juite & Shu, Yun-Feng, 2007. "A possibilistic decision model for new product supply chain design," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(2), pages 1044-1061, March.
    9. Persona, Alessandro & Battini, Daria & Manzini, Riccardo & Pareschi, Arrigo, 2007. "Optimal safety stock levels of subassemblies and manufacturing components," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1-2), pages 147-159, October.
    10. Doerner, K.F. & Gutjahr, W.J. & Hartl, R.F. & Strauss, C. & Stummer, C., 2008. "Nature-inspired metaheuristics for multiobjective activity crashing," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 1019-1037, December.
    11. Osman, Hany & Demirli, Kudret, 2012. "Integrated safety stock optimization for multiple sourced stockpoints facing variable demand and lead time," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(1), pages 299-307.
    12. Stephen C. Graves & Sean P. Willems, 2005. "Optimizing the Supply Chain Configuration for New Products," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(8), pages 1165-1180, August.
    13. Melo, M.T. & Nickel, S. & Saldanha-da-Gama, F., 2009. "Facility location and supply chain management - A review," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 196(2), pages 401-412, July.
    14. Doerner, K.F. & Gutjahr, W.J. & Hartl, R.F. & Strauss, C. & Stummer, C., 2006. "Pareto ant colony optimization with ILP preprocessing in multiobjective project portfolio selection," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 171(3), pages 830-841, June.
    15. Paul Glasserman & Sridhar Tayur, 1995. "Sensitivity Analysis for Base-Stock Levels in Multiechelon Production-Inventory Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(2), pages 263-281, February.
    16. Chopra, Sunil, 2003. "Designing the distribution network in a supply chain," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 123-140, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:proeco:v:145:y:2013:i:1:p:18-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.