A multi-level approach for network design of integrated supply chains

M. Dotoli, M. P. Fanti, C. Meloni, M. C. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Integrated e-supply chains are distributed manufacturing systems composed of various resources belonging to different companies and integrated with streamlined material, information and financial flow. The configuration of the supply-chain network is essential for business to pursue a competitive advantage and to meet the market demand. This paper proposes a three-level hierarchical methodology for a supply chain network design at the planning-management level. The integrated supply chain network is described as a set of consecutive stages connected by communication and transportation links, and the configuration aim consists in selecting the actors of the stages on the basis of transportation connection and information flow. More precisely, the first level evaluates the performance of the entities candidate to join the network and singles out efficient elements. The second level solves a multi-criteria integer linear optimization problem to configure the network. Finally, the third level is devoted to evaluating and validating the solution proposed in the first two levels. The overall decision process is the result of the interaction of the modules that are dedicated to each decision level. The paper presents some optimization techniques to synthesize the first two levels and illustrates the hierarchical decision process by way of a case study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4267-4287
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Distributed manufacturing systems
  • Integrated e-supply chains
  • Network design
  • Optimization


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