Capacity restrictions and supply chain performance: Modelling and analysing load-dependent lead times

Cannella, Salvatore; Dominguez, Roberto; Ponte, Borja and Framinan, Jose M. (2018). Capacity restrictions and supply chain performance: Modelling and analysing load-dependent lead times. International Journal of Production Economics, 204 pp. 264–277.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2018.08.008

Abstract

Several studies have reported that capacitated supply chains may benefit from an improved dynamic performance as compared to unconstrained ones. This occurs as a consequence of the capacity limit acting as a production smoothing filter. In this research, the relationship between capacity restrictions and the operational performance of supply chains is investigated from a novel perspective, i.e. we assume that the influence of capacity constraints on lead times depends on the supply chain's responsiveness. Under these circumstances, the experiments show that there is a negative effect of capacity constraints on supply chain performance, both in terms of process efficiency (internal) and customer satisfaction (external). Nonetheless, the magnitude of this impact greatly depends on the responsiveness of the firm, market conditions and adopted policies for inventory management. More specifically, the combination of tight capacity restrictions and low responsiveness significantly contributes to decrease supply chain performance, which may be very damaging for the dynamic behavior of the system. In this sense, efficient capacity planning proves to be essential to prevent the supply chain from entering into a vicious circle.

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