Reference : Decision Making in Supply Chains with Waste Considerations
Dissertations and theses : Doctoral thesis
Business & economic sciences : Production, distribution & supply chain management
Decision Making in Supply Chains with Waste Considerations
Perez Becker, Nicole mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Department of Economics and Management (DEM) >]
University of Luxembourg, ​​Luxembourg
Docteur en Gestion
[en] supply chain management ; sustainable operations ; waste ; inventory ; reusable packaging ; food supply chains
[en] As global population and income levels have increased, so has the waste generated as a byproduct of our production and consumption processes. Approximately two billion tons of municipal solid waste are generated globally every year – that is, more than half a kilogram per person each day. This waste, which is generated at various stages of the supply chain, has negative environmental effects and often represents an inefficient use or allocation of limited resources.
With the growing concern about waste, many governments are implementing regulations to reduce waste. Waste is a often consequence of the inventory decisions of different players in a supply chain. As such, these regulations aim to reduce waste by influencing inventory decisions. However, determining the inventory decisions of players in a supply chain is not trivial. Modern supply chains often consist of numerous players, who may each differ in their objectives and in the factors they consider when making decisions such as how much product to buy and when. While each player
makes unilateral inventory decisions, these decisions may also affect the decisions of other players. This complexity makes it difficult to predict how a policy will affect profit and waste outcomes for individual players and the supply chain as a whole.
This dissertation studies the inventory decisions of players in a supply chain when faced with policy interventions to reduce waste. In particular, the focus is on food supply chains, where food waste and packaging waste are the largest waste components.
Chapter 2 studies a two-period inventory game between a seller (e.g., a wholesaler) and a buyer (e.g., a retailer) in a supply chain for a perishable food product with uncertain demand from a downstream market. The buyer can differ in whether he considers factors affecting future periods or the seller’s supply availability in his period purchase decisions – that is, in his degree of strategic behavior. The focus is on understanding how the buyer’s degree of strategic behavior affects inventory outcomes. Chapter 3 builds on this understanding by investigating waste outcomes and how policies that penalize waste affect individual and supply chain profits and waste.
Chapter 4 studies the setting of a restaurant that uses reusable containers instead of single-use ones to serve its delivery and take-away orders. With policy-makers discouraging the use of single-use containers through surcharges or bans, reusable containers have emerged as an alternative. Managing inventories of reusable containers is challenging for a restaurant as both demand and returns of containers are uncertain and the restaurant faces various customers types. This chapter investigates how the proportion of each customer type affects the restaurant’s inventory decisions and costs.

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