THE EFFECTS OF RFID AND EDI TECHNOLOGIES ON SUPPLY CHAIN DYNAMICS

Nathan J. Patterson, Jeffrey F. Rhoads, and Sangtae Kim

Keywords

Radiofrequency identification, supply chain management, beer distribution game, highthroughput computing, simulation

Abstract

Process automation and information sharing are becoming increasingly important to the successful operation of supply chains. While previous works have investigated the effects of radio frequency identification (RFID), electronic data interchange (EDI), and other transparency technologies on model production/distribution systems, the studies completed to date have not fully examined the implications of these technologies on the supply chains’ dynamic behaviour. This is especially true for supply chains which feature heterogeneously implemented transparency technologies. The present work seeks to fill this apparent technical void, by characterizing the impact of both heterogeneously and homogeneously implemented EDI and RFID technologies on the system dynamics of a prototypical multi-stage supply chain model: the beer distribution game. To this end, the effort utilizes high-throughput numerical simulation to characterize the influence of transparency technologies on transient performance metrics (e.g. settling time, cost, and stock outages), and to form a series of succinct conclusions on the technologies’ relative utility.

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