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Concepts, tools, models and algorithms for the Supply Chain design





Funding entity: Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad 
    Ref: DPI2015-67740-P

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 31/12/2019





Lusa, Amaia

Scientific coordinator and contact


Mateo, Manel

Tenured professor


Benedito, Ernest

Tenured professor


Calleja, Gemma

Tenured professor



Olivella, Jordi

Tenured professor


Martínez, Carme

Tenured professor


Ribas, Imma

Tenured professor


Corominas, Albert

Professor emeritus

Project description

The purpose of this project is to develop tools for an efficient and correct design of supply chains (SC), under the SCOP method (Supply Chain Outline Process), a result of a previous project (DPI2010-15614). The design of the SC consists of determining what elements are to be present in the SC and the relationships between them and includes decisions that are highly irreversible once implemented, and with associated significant costs and long-term implications. SCOP comprises five stages: the first one involves the definition of the object of the SC, the analysis of the environment and the formalization of objectives (the decisions made at this stage such as a lean or an agile SC- determine the subsequent stages); the second, third and fourth respectively correspond to the definitions of the structure of the SC at a macro (large blocks that comprise it), meso (product structure and activities taking place in the SC, for each activity an option must be chosen from those available) and micro (includes defining and optimizing, by means of mathematical programming, the relations between the facilities in which the activities can potentially be carried out) level; in the fifth stage the configuration of the SC is selected, the protocols to apply in case of incidents are defined and the implementation of the SC is done. The proposed elements to be developed in this project are closely related, and are inserted into the framework defined in SCOP and help developing and strengthening the method.

The proposed specific objectives are: (1) update the review and analysis of the literature regarding the design of the SC; (2) establishing, for each set of decisions in the design of the SC (supply-production, distribution, collection and reprocessing) a list of options and criteria in order to value them and, from this comparison between options and criteria, a typology of SCs for each group of decisions and some general indications about which options are most appropriate for each type of SC; (3) to define a language and a grammar to facilitate the communication among the members of the SC design team and to ensure the consistency between decisions taken in step 4 of SCOP and those taken at earlier stages; (4) to define indicators for robustness, reliability, resilience and flexibility of a SC, and the procedures for calculating them; (5) to define SC sustainability indicators and the procedures to calculate them; (6) to establish modeling techniques to facilitate the development of mathematical models aimed at optimizing the SC from the graph developed in step 4 of SCOP; (7) to develop matheuristics for obtaining quality solutions of the mathematical models that cannot be solved through standard optimizers; (8) to validate the method and the tools through case studies; (9) to make the tools available for companies and authorities via a website designed for this purpose. To sum up the aim of the project is to develop tools and concepts to make the complex process of designing a SC more reliable and efficient. The project is expected to get original results in the field of SC design and lead to new and significant contributions for the advancing of knowledge and technology.

Please take a look at the project's web page for a more complete information. 


Amount: 46.707,00 €