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Indiana University Bloomington

Operations & Decision Technologies

Kelley Advantage

Our Operations, Analytics and Information Systems faculty have written many of the definitive textbooks in the areas of operations, data analysis, database management, networking, and Excel modeling.

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Minimizing Customer Order Lead - Time in a Two - Stage Assembly Supply Chain

2008, Annals of Operations Research

J. D. Blocher, D. Chhajed


 Coordination across different process stages of the supply chain is becoming more common as the information needed for this coordination is easier to obtain and share. With the availability of this information, managers are beginning to recognize that there can be benefits to scheduling processes in a coordinated fashion. Thus, finding good schedules for the entire supply chain has added importance to today’s managers. Coordination of the material as it moves from one stage to the next should lead to improved customer order lead-time performance for the whole chain and thus better customer service overall. We look at a two-stage assembly supply chain with the objective of minimizing the average customer order lead-time. Minimizing lead-time is becoming increasingly important as customers demand quicker response. But beyond this better customer service objective, minimizing lead-time is consistent with keeping inventory costs low. We introduce a number of properties of optimal solutions, results for special problem cases, and a series of lower bounds. We also provide a number of intuitive heuristics for coordinated supply chain scheduling and test them to determine their effectiveness.


Blocher, J. D. and D. Chhajed (2008), "Minimizing Customer Order Lead - Time in a Two - Stage Assembly Supply Chain," Annals of Operations Research, Vol. 161, pp. 25-52.