IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Measuring the variability in supply chains with the peakedness


  • CHEVALIER, Philippe

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE and Louvain School of Management, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • VAN DEN SCHRIECK, Jean - CHristophe

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE and Louvain School of Management, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

  • WEI, Ying

    () (Université catholique de Louvain, CORE, B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)


This paper introduces a novel way to measure the variability of order flows in supply chains, the peakedness. The peakedness can be used to measure the variability assuming the order flow is a general point pro- cess. We show basic properties of the peakedness, and demonstrate its computation from real-time continuous demand processes, and cumulative demand collected at fixed time intervals as well. We also show that the peakedness can be used to characterize demand, forecast, and inventory variables, to effectively manage the variability. Our results hold for both single stage and multistage inventory systems, and can further be extended to a tree-structured supply chain with a single supplier and multiple retailers. Furthermore, the peakedness can be applied to study traditional inventory problems such as quantifying bullwhip effects and determining safety stock levels. Finally, a numerical study based on real life Belgian supermarket data verifies the effectiveness of the peakedness for measuring the order flow variability, as well as estimating the bullwhip effects.

Suggested Citation

  • CHEVALIER, Philippe & VAN DEN SCHRIECK, Jean - CHristophe & WEI, Ying, 2010. "Measuring the variability in supply chains with the peakedness," CORE Discussion Papers 2010067, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2010067

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    variability; peakedness; supply chain;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2010067. 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: (Alain GILLIS). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.