Transshipment in supply chain networks with perishable items

Dehghani, M 2019, Transshipment in supply chain networks with perishable items, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Business IT and Logistics, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Transshipment in supply chain networks with perishable items
Author(s) Dehghani, M
Year 2019
Abstract Supply chain management is an efficient approach to managing the flow of information, goods, and services in fulfillment of customer demand. The implementation of supply chain management significantly affects the cost, benefit level, and quality. Over the past decades, multiple strategies for effective supply chain management have been developed in both academia and industry. One such strategy is named lateral transshipment which allows movement of stock between locations at the same echelon level or even across different levels.

Although transshipment has been considered in the literature for a long time, there has been limited studies of transshipment for perishable items, most likely because of the complex structure of perishable inventories. The analysis of perishable-inventory systems has been considered in numerous articles because of its potential application in sectors such as chemicals, food, photography, pharmaceuticals, and blood bank management.

Blood services in Australia rely on voluntary, non-remunerated donors to satisfy the demand for blood. Blood services confront ongoing challenges in providing an adequate supply of blood and blood products. One of the powerful tools that could improve the efficiency of the blood supply chain is lateral transshipment.

This thesis presents three models that have application in the transshipment of perishable items such as blood.

The first model (presented in Chapter 2) outlines the development of a new transshipment policy for perishable items, to enhance supply chain performance. A Poissondistributed customer demand is assumed and the effect of reactive transshipment on expected costs are evaluated. A heuristic solution is developed, using partial differential equations to compute performance measures and cost function. The performance of this model is evaluated through a numerical study. The results indicate that this transshipment policy is effective under lost-sale and backordering scenarios. In addition, the performance of the suggested transshipment policy is compared with the current transshipment policy that is practiced in some Australian hospitals. The results suggest that by setting the optimal threshold, a significant cost saving could be obtained with the same average issuing age of the current policy.

The second model (presented in Chapter 3) considers a finite-horizon multi-period inventory system with one main hospital connected to several smaller hospitals. The hospitals face random demand and small hospitals are allowed to transship to the big hospital to mitigate their wastage. The problem is formulated as an infinite-horizon dynamic programming model. The objective of this model is to determine an optimal ordering and transshipment policy that minimizes the total expected cost. An approximate dynamic programming (ADP) model is used to approximate the value function with a linear combination of basis functions, using column generation to cope with the course of dimensionality. The numerical results suggest that considerable cost saving can be achieved by using an ADP model.

The third model (presented in Chapter 4) proposes a proactive transshipment policy for a network of hospitals with uncertain demand. At the beginning of each review period, each hospital makes decisions on the quantity to order from a central blood bank and to transship to other hospitals. The problem is formulated as a two-stage stochastic programming model where the Quasi-Monte Carlo (QMC) sampling approach is used to generate scenarios and the optimal number of scenarios is determined by conducting stability tests. The performance of the developed model is evaluated through numerical experiences. The numerical results indicate significant potential cost savings in comparison with the current policy in use and the no-transshipment policy.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Business IT and Logistics
Subjects Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Keyword(s) Blood supply chain
Inventory management
Dynamic programming
Stochastic programming
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Created: Tue, 14 May 2019, 10:59:04 EST by Keely Chapman
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