In this work we present a two step procedure aimed at integrating inventory and distribution functions for balancing stock levels in distribution systems. In particular, we analyse the flow of products within a multi-echelon, multi-channel distribution network, with the aim of minimizing logistic costs. The key issue of the present paper is that cost minimization is searched whilst granting a certain customers’ service level, here expressed in terms of percentage of fulfilled demand. Moreover, the present paper focus on the gain that company should derive finding balanced stock levels in the whole network, that is the gain derived by using integration network management models and integrated inventory—supply chain management information systems. This integration is possible only if inventories’ information related to the whole network are available. Results of computational experimentations aimed at comparing different inventory management policies are presented.
Integrated inventory management Distribution systems Customer satisfaction Role of information sharing in the integration functions
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