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Process control in agile supply chain network

Pearson, Mike; Masson, Ron; Swain, Anthony


Mike Pearson

Ron Masson

Anthony Swain


The work comprises a new theoretical development applied to aid decision making in an increasingly important commercial sector. Agile supply, where small volumes of high margin, short life cycle innovative products are offered, is increasingly carried out through a complex global supply chain network. We outline an equilibrium solution in such a supply chain network, which works through limited cooperation and coordination along edges (links) in the network. The links constitute the stochastic modelling entities rather than the nodes of the network. We utilise newly developed phase plane analysis to identify, model and predict characteristic behaviour in supply chain networks. The phase plane charts profile the flow of inventory and identify out of control conditions. They maintain quality within the network, as well as intelligently track the way the network evolves in conditions of changing variability. The methodology is essentially distribution free, relying as it does on the study of forecasting errors, and can be used to examine contractual details as well as strategic and game theoretical concepts between decision-making components (agents) of a network. We illustrate with typical data drawn from supply chain agile fashion products.


Pearson, M., Masson, R., & Swain, A. (2010). Process control in agile supply chain network. International Journal of Production Economics, 128, 22-30.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 25, 2010
Online Publication Date Mar 4, 2010
Publication Date 2010-11
Deposit Date Mar 13, 2009
Publicly Available Date Mar 4, 2010
Print ISSN 0925-5273
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 128
Pages 22-30
Keywords Agile Supply Chain; Inventory; Process Control; Push and Pull Strategies; Bullwhip Effect;
Public URL
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