Skip to main content

Supply Chain Management


Supply chain management (SCM) is related to the management of all activities along a network of organizations to provide a good or a service to final customers. The efficiency of these activities can have a great impact on customer‘s satisfaction and cost reduction. However, SCM is not just the sum of activities along the supply chain but, instead, it must consider the organization, supervision, and control of all activities in the chain from an integrated and collaborative perspective aiming to provide a competitive advantage. From this point of view, an increase in the dimension and complexity of the decision problems involved is expected, as several actors with different goals must be considered to administrate efficiently the activities within the supply chain.

This chapter briefly reviews the main concepts of SCM, identifying relevant decision and optimization problems and discussing possible solution approaches. Heuristics and metaheuristics are two of the best optimization tools to be used in solving and providing business insights for the SCM problems. This chapter also describes some successful metaheuristic approaches to SCM and it examines future research trends. A large number of applications of metaheuristics to SCM integrating new subjects, such as open and big data, smart cities, and online decision-making, just to mention a few, are foreseen.


  • Supply chain management
  • Optimization problems
  • Metaheuristics

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
USD   999.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD   1,099.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Learn about institutional subscriptions


  1. Cordeau JF, Gendreau M, Laporte G et al (2002) A guide to vehicle routing heuristics. J Oper Res Soc 53:512–522.

  2. CSCMP Supply Chain Management.

  3. Simchi-Levi D, Kaminsky P, Simchi-Levi E (2003) Designing and managing the supply chain: concepts, strategies and case studies. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  4. Janvier-James AM (2011) A new introduction to supply chains and supply chain management: definitions and theories perspective. Int Bus Res 5:194–207.

  5. Ullrich CA (2014) Issues in supply chain scheduling and contracting. Springer Fachmedien Wiesbad, Wiesbaden.

  6. Johnson JC, Wood DF, Wardlow DL, Murphy Paul R (1999) Contemporary logistics. Prentice-Hall, Upper Saddle River

    Google Scholar 

  7. Akdogan AA, Demirtas O (2014) Managerial role in strategic supply chain management. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 150:1020–1029.

  8. Lambert DM, Cooper MC (2000) Issues in supply chain management. Ind Mark Manag 29:65–83.

  9. Chopra S, Meindl P (2016) Supply chain management, 6th edn. Pearson Education, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  10. Chen IJ, Paulraj A (2004) Understanding supply chain management: critical research and a theoretical framework. Int J Prod Res 42:131–163.

  11. Farahani RZ, Rezapour S, Drezner T, Fallah S (2014) Competitive supply chain network design: an overview of classifications, models, solution techniques and applications. Omega 45:92–118.

  12. Melo MT, Nickel S, Saldanha-da-Gama F (2009) Facility location and supply chain management – a review. Eur J Oper Res 196:401–412.

  13. Gosling J, Purvis L, Naim MM (2010) Supply chain flexibility as a determinant of supplier selection. Int J Prod Econ 128:11–21.

  14. Tachizawa EM, Gimenez C (2010) Supply flexibility strategies in Spanish firms: results from a survey. Int J Prod Econ 124:214–224.

  15. Chikán A (2011) Managers’ view of a new inventory paradigm. Int J Prod Econ 133:54–59.

  16. Morton T, Pentico D (1993) Heuristic scheduling systems. Wiley, New York

    Google Scholar 

  17. Chan L, Shen Z, Simchi-levi D, Swann JL (2004) Coordination of pricing and inventory decisions: a survey and classification. In: Simchi-Levi D, Wu SD, Shen ZM (eds) Handbook of quantitative supply chain analysis modeling in the E-business era. Kluwer Academic, Boston, pp 335–392

    Google Scholar 

  18. Coelho LC, Cordeau J, Laporte G (2014) Thirty years of inventory routing. Transp Sci 48:1–19.

  19. Andersson H, Hoff A, Christiansen M et al (2010) Industrial aspects and literature survey: combined inventory management and routing. Comput Oper Res 37:1515–1536.

  20. Diabat A (2014) Hybrid algorithm for a vendor managed inventory system in a two-echelon supply chain. Eur J Oper Res 238:114–121.

  21. Mateus G, Ravetti MG, de Souza M, Valeriano T (2010) Capacitated lot sizing and sequence dependent setup scheduling: an iterative approach for integration. J Sched 13:245–259.

  22. Kreipl S, Dickersbach JT (2008) Scheduling coordination problems in supply chain planning. Ann Oper Res 161:103–122.

  23. Kreipl S, Pinedo M (2009) Planning and scheduling in supply chains: an overview of issues in practice. Prod Oper Manag 13:77–92.

  24. Martínez-Jurado PJ, Moyano-Fuentes J (2013) Lean management, supply chain management and sustainability: a literature review. J Clean Prod 85:134–150.

  25. Demir E, Bektaş T, Laporte G (2014) A review of recent research on green road freight transportation. Eur J Oper Res 237:775–793.

  26. Devika K, Jafarian A, Nourbakhsh V (2014) Designing a sustainable closed-loop supply chain network based on triple bottom line approach: a comparison of metaheuristics hybridization techniques. Eur J Oper Res 235:594–615.

  27. Yücesan E (2007) Impact of information technology on supply chain management. In: Jung H, Jeong B, Chen FF (eds) Trends in supply chain design and management SE – 6. Springer, London, pp 127–148

    Google Scholar 

  28. Simchi-Levi D, Kaminsky P, Simchi-Levi E (2003) Designing and managing the supply chain: concepts, strategies and case studies. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  29. Hazen BT, Boone CA, Ezell JD, Jones-Farmer LA (2014) Data quality for data science, predictive analytics, and big data in supply chain management: an introduction to the problem and suggestions for research and applications. Int J Prod Econ 154:72–80.

  30. Kot S (2014) Principles of global supply chain management. Faculty of Management, Czestochowa University of Technology

    Google Scholar 

  31. Croxton KL, García-Dastugue SJ, Lambert DM, Rogers DS (2001) The supply chain management processes. Int J Logist Manag 12:13–36

    Google Scholar 

  32. Sánchez D, Amodeo L, Prins C (2009) Meta-heuristic approaches for multi-objective simulation-based optimization in supply chain inventory management. Lect Notes Comput Sci 5484:798–807.

  33. Duan Q, Liao TW (2013) A new age-based replenishment policy for supply chain inventory optimization of highly perishable products. Int J Prod Econ 145:658–671.

  34. Zolfaghari S, Quan V, El-Bouri A, Khashayardoust M (2010) Application of a genetic algorithm to staff scheduling in retail sector. Int J Ind Syst Eng 5:20–47.

  35. Wang KJ, Chen MJ (2009) Cooperative capacity planning and resource allocation by mutual outsourcing using ant algorithm in a decentralized supply chain. Expert Syst Appl 36:2831–2842.

  36. Laporte G (2009) Fifty years of vehicle routing. Transp Sci 43:408–416.

  37. Yeun LC, Ismail WANR, Omar K, Zirour M (2008) Vehicle routing problem: models and solutions. J Qual Meas Anal 4:205–218

    Google Scholar 

  38. Cordeau JF, Gendreau M, Hertz A et al (2005) New heuristics for the vehicle routing problem. In: Langevin A, Riopel D (eds) Logistics systems: design and optimization. Kluwer Academic, Boston pp 279–297

    Google Scholar 

  39. Kumar SN, Panneerselvam R (2012) A survey on the vehicle routing problem and its variants. Intell Inf Manag 4:66–74.

  40. Vidal T, Crainic TG, Gendreau M, Prins C (2013) Heuristics for multi-attribute vehicle routing problems: a survey and synthesis. Eur J Oper Res 231:1–21.

  41. Pérez-Bernabeu E, Juan AA, Faulin J, Barros B (2015) Horizontal cooperation in road transportation: a multi- depot case illustrating savings in distances and pollutant emissions. Int Trans Oper Res 22:585-606.

  42. Juan AA, Faulin J, Pérez-Bernabeu E, Jozefowiez N (2014) Horizontal cooperation in vehicle routing problems with backhauling and environmental criteria. Proc Soc Behav Sci 111:1133–1141.

  43. Lin C, Choy KL, Ho GTS et al (2014) Survey of green vehicle routing problem: past and future trends. Expert Syst Appl 41:1118–1138.

  44. Erdoǧan S, Miller-Hooks E (2012) A green vehicle routing problem. Transp Res Part E Logist Transp Rev 48:100–114.

  45. Schmid V, Doerner KF, Laporte G (2013) Rich routing problems arising in supply chain management. Eur J Oper Res 224:435–448.

  46. Pisinger D, Ropke S (2007) A general heuristic for vehicle routing problems. Comput Oper Res 34:2403–2435.

  47. Liu S, Papageorgiou LG (2013) Multiobjective optimisation of production, distribution and capacity planning of global supply chains in the process industry. Omega Int J Manag Sci 41:369–381.

  48. Afshin Mansouri S, Gallear D, Askariazad MH (2012) Decision support for build-to-order supply chain management through multiobjective optimization. Int J Prod Econ 135:24–36.

  49. Chu CH, Luh YP, Li TC, Chen H (2009) Economical green product design based on simplified computer-aided product structure variation. Comput Ind 60:485–500.

  50. Vieira P, Vieira SM, Sousa JMC et al (2014) Designing closed-loop supply chains with nonlinear dimensioning factors using ant colony optimization. Soft Comput

  51. Griffis SE, Bell JE, Closs DJ (2012) Metaheuristics in logistics and supply chain management. J Bus Logist 33:90–106.

  52. Calvete HI, Galé C, Iranzo JA (2014) Planning of a decentralized distribution network using bilevel optimization. Omega 49:30–41.

  53. Delavar MR, Hajiaghaei-Keshteli M, Molla-Alizadeh-Zavardehi S (2010) Genetic algorithms for coordinated scheduling of production and air transportation. Expert Syst Appl 37:8255–8266.

  54. Eskandarpour M, Masehian E, Soltani R, Khosrojerdi A (2014) A reverse logistics network for recovery systems and a robust metaheuristic solution approach. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 74:1393–1406.

  55. Boukherroub T, Ruiz A, Guinet A, Fondrevelle J (2015) An integrated approach for sustainable supply chain planning. Comput Oper Res 54:180–194.

  56. Brandenburg M, Govindan K, Sarkis J, Seuring S (2014) Quantitative models for sustainable supply chain management: developments and directions. Eur J Oper Res 233:299–312.

  57. Ahi P, Searcy C (2013) A comparative literature analysis of definitions for green and sustainable supply chain management. J Clean Prod 52:329–341.

  58. Seuring S (2013) A review of modeling approaches for sustainable supply chain management. Decis Support Syst 54:1513–1520.

  59. Lourenço H, Ribeiro R (2012) Strategies for an integrated distribution problem strategies for an integrated distribution problem. In: Montoya-Torres JR, Juan AA, Huaccho L et al (eds) Hybrid algorithms for service, computing and manufacturing systems: routing and scheduling solutions. IGI Global Books, Hershey, pp 98–121

    Google Scholar 

  60. Ribeiro R, Lourenço HR (2005) A new model and heuristic for a multi-period inventory-routing problem. In: Decision science institute of international conference, Barcelona, pp 805–815

    Google Scholar 

  61. Caceres-Cruz J, Arias P, Guimarans D et al (2014) Rich vehicle routing problem: survey. ACM Comput Surv 47:1–28.

  62. Cardona-Valdés Y, Álvarez A, Pacheco J (2014) Metaheuristic procedure for a bi-objective supply chain design problem with uncertainty. Transp Res B Methodol 60:66–84.

  63. Rego N, Claro J, Pinho de Sousa J (2014) A hybrid approach for integrated healthcare cooperative purchasing and supply chain configuration. Health Care Manag Sci 17:303–20.

  64. Cavique L (2007) A scalable algorithm for the market basket analysis. J Retail Consum Serv 14:400–407.

  65. Martins P, Ladrón A, Ramalhinho H (2014) Maximum cut-clique problem: ILS heuristics and a data analysis application. Int Trans Oper Res.

  66. Sadeghia A, Alem-Tabriza A, Zandieha M (2011) Product portfolio planning: a metaheuristic-based simulated annealing algorithm. Int J Prod Res 49:2327–2350.

  67. April J, Glover F, Kelly J, Laguna M (2001) Simulation/optimization using “Real-World” applications. In: Proceedings of 2001 winter simulation conference, Arlington, pp 134–138

    Google Scholar 

  68. Ngai EWT, Xiu L, Chau DCK (2009) Application of data mining techniques in customer relationship management: a literature review and classification. Expert Syst Appl 36:2592–2602.

  69. Grasas A, Juan AA, Lourenço HR (2014) SimILS: a simulation-based extension of the iterated local search metaheuristic for stochastic combinatorial optimization. J Simul

  70. Juan AA, Faulin J, Grasman SE et al (2015, in press) A review of Simheuristics: extending metaheuristics to deal with stochastic optimization problems. Oper Res Perspect 2:62–72.

  71. Giménez C, Lourenço HR (2004) E-supply chain management: review, implications and directions for future research. In: EUROMA INSEAD, Fontainebleau, pp 1021–1031

    Google Scholar 

  72. Davenport TH (2014) Big data at work dispelling the myths, uncovering the opportunities. Harvard Business School Press, Boston

    Google Scholar 

  73. Nam T, Pardo TA (2011) Conceptualizing smart city with dimensions of technology, people, and institutions. In: Proceedings of the 12th annual international digital government research conference on digital government innovation in challenging times – dg.o ’11, p 282.

Download references


H.R. has been supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (TRA2013-48180-C3-P). M.G.R. acknowledges supports from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) and FAPEMIG.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Helena Ramalhinho Lourenço .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2018 Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature

About this entry

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Lourenço, H.R., Ravetti, M.G. (2018). Supply Chain Management. In: Martí, R., Pardalos, P., Resende, M. (eds) Handbook of Heuristics. Springer, Cham.

Download citation