Improving Distributed Decision Making in Inventory Management: A Combined ABC-AHP Approach Supported by Teamwork


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The need of organizations to ensure service levels that impact on customer satisfaction has required the design of collaborative processes among stakeholders involved in inventory decision making. The increase of quantity and variety of items, on the one hand, and demand and customer expectations, on the other hand, are transformed into a greater complexity in inventory management, requiring effective communication and agreements between the leaders of the logistics processes. Traditionally, decision making in inventory management was based on approaches conditioned only by cost or sales volume. These approaches must be overcome by others that consider multiple criteria, involving several areas of the companies and taking into account the opinions of the stakeholders involved in these decisions. Inventory management becomes part of a complex system that involves stakeholders from different areas of the company, where each agent has limited information and where the cooperation between such agents is key for the system's performance. In this paper, a distributed inventory control approach was used with the decisions allowing communication between the stakeholders and with a multicriteria group decision-making perspective. This work proposes a methodology that combines the analysis of the value chain and the AHP technique, in order to improve communication and the performance of the areas related to inventory management decision making. This methodology uses the areas of the value chain as a theoretical framework to identify the criteria necessary for the application of the AHP multicriteria group decision-making technique. These criteria were defined as indicators that measure the performance of the areas of the value chain related to inventory management and were used to classify ABC inventory of the products according to these selected criteria. Therefore, the methodology allows us to solve inventory management DDM based on multicriteria ABC classification and was validated in a Colombian company belonging to the graphic arts sector.
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