IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Using Scheduled Ordering to Improve the Performance of Distribution Supply Chains

  • Lucy Gongtao Chen


    (NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119245)

  • Srinagesh Gavirneni


    (Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853)

Registered author(s):

    We study a supply chain with one supplier and many retailers that face exogenous end-customer demands. The supplier and the retailers all try to minimize their own inventory-related costs. In contrast to the retailers' newsvendor-type ordering behavior (under which retailers may place orders freely in every period), we propose two scheduled ordering policies: the scheduled balanced ordering policy (SBOP) and the scheduled synchronized ordering policy (SSOP). Under both the SBOP and SSOP, retailers are allowed to order freely only in one period of an ordering cycle, and receive fixed shipments in other periods. Retailers take turns to order freely under the SBOP, while under the SSOP all retailers order freely in the same period. With the average supply chain cost per period as the performance measure, we identify mathematical conditions under which scheduled ordering policies outperform the newsvendor-type ordering. Through a large-scale numerical study, we find that scheduled ordering policies are most effective when (i) the supplier's holding and expediting costs are high and the retailer's backorder cost is small, (ii) the end-customer demand variance and correlation are high, and (iii) the supplier's capacity is high. In addition, we observe that the behavior of the SSOP often complements that of the SBOP. Whereas the SBOP is better than SSOP when the supplier's capacity is low and when the end-customer demand correlation level is high, the SSOP is better when the opposite conditions prevail.

    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: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 9 (September)
    Pages: 1615-1632

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:9:p:1615-1632
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA

    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    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:inm:ormnsc:v:56:y:2010:i:9:p:1615-1632. 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: (Mirko Janc)

    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.