Minimizing customer order lead-time in a two-stage assembly supply chain

James D. Blocher, Dilip Chhajed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-52
Number of pages28
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Coordinated supply chain
  • Lead-time
  • Scheduling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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