Seminar: Make-To-Order Or Make-To-Stock? Benchmark Policies for Supply Strategies


Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Title: Make-To-Order Or Make-To-Stock? Benchmark Policies for Supply Strategies

Speaker: Prof. Liming Liu
                Faculty of Business
                Lingnan University

Date: Feb. 17th, 2012 (Friday)

Time: 4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Venue: Room 513
            William M.W. Mong Engineering Building
            (Engineering Building Complex Phase 2)



Managing supply chain effectively is a major challenge in a fast changing business environment. Many supply chains perform poorly because of ``a mismatch between the type of product and the type of supply chain''. While the qualitative Fisher-Lee supply strategy-matching framework helps the understanding of the factors affecting the choice of the right supply strategy and provides a basic guideline, decisions on supply strategy are more complex in practice and mismatched supply chains are not uncommon. Fisher (1997) and Lee (2002) classify products into functional or innovative and supply process to stable or evolving. Four supply strategies are suggested, each matches a combination of product and process types. However, business executives are likely to find it difficult to position their products or processes in the Fisher-Lee framework precisely. A product may be evolving from innovative to functional because of competition or from functional to innovative by design or technology change. A supply process may become less stable when new technologies are introduced. There is obviously a need for an analytical framework that complements the Fisher-Lee framework and helps sharpen our understanding of product and supply process so that more precise and quantitative recommendations can be provided to assist supply strategy decisions.

In this talk, a single-stage analytical model with inventory and lead time decisions is presented. The main product characteristics/priorities of the Fisher-Lee framework are converted into cost parameters. The model captures the system dynamics and allows gradual change of product or process type. We show that there exist strategy switching thresholds of the system utilization on which supply strategy selections are made for a benchmark system. Extension to more general models is also discussed. We point out that this is an extremely rich research area with many interesting managerial issues and unlimited modeling and optimization opportunities



Dr. Liu is a chair professor of operations management with the Faculty of Business, Lingnan University. His current research interests are in the areas of supply chain management, port logistics and maritime economics. His research works appear in some major journals in the field, including Management Science, Operations Research, and Manufacturing and Service Operations Management.  

************************* ALL ARE WELCOME ************************

Host: Professor Sean X. Zhou

Tel: (852) 2609-8336


Enquiries: Prof. Nan Chen or Prof. Sean X. Zhou
                 Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management





Friday, February 17, 2012 - 08:30 to 09:30