Developing a resilient, robust and efficient supply network in Africa

Jade F. Preston, Bruce A. Cox, Paul P. Rebeiz, Timothy W. Breitbach
2021 Journal of Defense Analytics and Logistics  
PurposeSupply chains need to balance competing objectives; in addition to efficiency, supply chains need to be resilient to adversarial and environmental interference and robust to uncertainties in long-term demand. Significant research has been conducted designing efficient supply chains and recent research has focused on resilient supply chain design. However, the integration of resilient and robust supply chain design is less well studied. The purpose of the paper is to include resilience
more » ... robustness into supply chain design.Design/methodology/approachThe paper develops a method to include resilience and robustness into supply chain design. Using the region of West Africa, which is plagued with persisting logistical issues, the authors develop a regional risk assessment framework and then apply categorical risk to the countries of West Africa using publicly available data. A scenario reduction technique is used to focus on the highest risk scenarios for the model to be tractable. Next, the authors develop a mathematical model leveraging this framework to design a resilient supply network that minimizes cost while ensuring the network functions following a disruption. Finally, the authors examine the network's robustness to demand uncertainty via several plausible emergency scenarios.FindingsThe authors provide optimal sets of transshipment hubs with varying counts from 5 through 15 hubs. The authors determine there is no feasible solution that uses only five transshipment hubs. The authors' findings reinforce those seven transshipment hubs – the solution currently employed in West Africa – is the cheapest architecture to achieve resilience and robustness. Additionally, for each set of feasibility transshipment hubs, the authors provide connections between hubs and demand spokes.Originality/valueWhile, at the time of this research, three other manuscripts incorporated both resilience and robustness of the authors' research unique solved the problem as a network flow instead of as a set covering problem. Additionally, the authors establish a novel risk framework to guide the required amount of redundancy, and finally the out research proposes a scenario reduction heuristic to allow tractable exploration of 512 possible demand scenarios.
doi:10.1108/jdal-09-2021-0006 fatcat:7o3rlb3vb5dibpk4fzoy4jgi2q