Modelling and Determining Inventory Decisions for Improved Sustainability in Perishable Food Supply Chains
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Since the introduction of sustainable development, industries have witnessed significant sustainability challenges. Literature shows that the food industry is concerned about its need for efficient and effective management practices in dealing with perishability and the requirements for conditioned storage and transport of food products that effect the environment. Hence, the environmental part of sustainability demonstrates its significance in this industrial sector. Despite this, there has been little research into environmentally sustainable inventory management of deteriorating items. This thesis presents mathematical modelling based research for production inventory systems in perishable food supply chains. In this study, multi-objective mixed-integer linear programming models are developed to determine economically and environmentally optimal production and inventory decisions for a two-echelon supply chain. The supply chain consists of single sourcing suppliers for raw materials and a producer who operates under a make-to-stock or make-to-order strategy. The demand facing the producer is non-stationary stochastic in nature and has requirements in terms of service level and the remaining shelf life of the marketed products. Using data from the literature, numerical examples are given in order to test and analyse these models. The computational experiments show that operational adjustments in cases where emission and cost parameters were not strongly correlated with supply chain collaboration (where suppliers and a producer operate under centralised control), emissions are effectively reduced without a significant increase in cost. The findings show that assigning a high disposal cost, limit or high weight of importance to perished goods leads to appropriate reduction of expected waste in the supply chain with no major cost increase. The research has made contributions to the literature on sustainable production and inventory management; providing formal models that can be used as an aid to understanding and as a tool for planning and improving sustainable production and inventory control in supply chains involving deteriorating items, in particular with perishable food supply chains.
the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Royal Thai Government.
Zhang, David Jr
PhD in Engineering