Even though supply chain management literature frequently proclaims the virtues of collaboration and information sharing, several gaps have recently been identified. In particular, we recognise that there is a lack of common understanding about how to create a joint decision making process for aligning individual plans. Paradoxically, although more information is available, proportionally less is being effectively captured, managed, analysed and made available to people who need it.
Case studies show how highly advocated large-scale collaboration projects, such as vendor-managed inventory arrangements, can degenerate into a ﬁve-to-one increase in the bullwhip effect at each level of the supply chain. This is due to the fact that buyers and sellers, despite achieving information transparency, do not completely exploit the potential strength of full visibility. On the contrary, due to a lack of understanding about how to create a joint decision making process for aligning the plans of individual supply chain members, they continue adopting decision making based on the same information as in a traditional supply chain, thus deriving no dynamic benefit.
Therefore there is a need for an unambiguous understanding of which specific data should be shared and how and when these data should be used in order to create a fully collaborative decision making mechanism. Furthermore – since in the real business world, environmental conditions can often determine impetuous variations in processes – there is a need for quantifying merits and limitations of specific supply chain collaboration structures under several assumptions.
The impact of sharing imprecise information amongst partners in collaborative practices, the dynamics of closed loop information exchange supply chains, and the effects of the behavioural variables in collaborative structures still need to be studied.
The objective of this special issue is to bring together high quality research in the modelling and performance evaluation of innovative collaboration, coordination and integration practices in supply chains. Conceptual, analytical and simulation models will be considered for this issue.
Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
- Collaborative practices in supply chains
- The role of information technology in supply chains
- Effect of closed-loop in the dynamics of supply chains
- Behavioural effects on supply chain management
- Inventory inaccuracy records in information sharing networks
- Management of uncertainties in collaborative supply chains
- Lumpy demand phenomenon in collaborative supply chains
- Efficiency of bullwhip avoidance strategies
- Mathematical and simulation models for supply chain collaboration management
Paper submission: 30 June, 2012
Reviewer reports: 31 October, 2012
Revised paper submission: 31 January, 2013
Final manuscript submission to publishers: 31 March, 2013