Diagnosis and reduction of bullwhip in supply chains
McCullen, Peter and Towill, Denis (2002) Diagnosis and reduction of bullwhip in supply chains Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 7 (3). pp. 164-179. ISSN 1359-8546
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“Bullwhip” describes the general tendency for small changes in end-customer demand to be amplified within a production-distribution system. A 10 per cent increase in sales to end-customers can precipitate a 40 per cent upswing in production and subsequent downswing (as excess stocks are depleted) within a three-echelon supply chain. It is shown how proven material flow control principles significantly reduce bullwhip in a global supply chain. The evidence demonstrates that a methodology, which has evolved over several decades, provides a suitable framework for effective change. Bullwhip is not a new problem; it is a new name coined to describe a very well-known problem. Some observed barriers to change are briefly reviewed.
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