Distribution management by means of cutoff order size: a case study
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We present a case study on physical distribution management for a production company in Western Europe. The company delivers finished goods both from distribution centers and directly from plants to its customers. The lead time from distribution centres is shorter, but higher costs are involved. The choice for delivery of an individual order is based on the so-called stockmix and cutoff order size. The stockmix is the set of products stocked at the distribution centre, which for efficiency reasons is restricted. Orders smaller than the cutoff order size are delivered from the distribution centre closest to the custumor, provided that the product ordered is present in its stockmix. Otherwise they are delivered from the production plant that makes the product. In this paper we develop methods to determine both the stockmix and the cutoff order size for each distribution centre. The objective considered is the minimisation of distribution and handling costs subject to service constraints.