Developing a meat supply chain network design using a multi-objective possibilistic programming approach

Ahmed Mohammed*, Qian Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to present a study in developing a cost-effective meat supply chain network design aiming to minimizing the total cost of transportation, the number of transportation vehicles and the delivery time of meat products. The developed model was also used for determining the optimum numbers and allocations of farms and abattoirs that need to be established and the optimal quantity flow of livestock from farms to abattoirs and meat products from abattoirs to retailers.

Design/methodology/approach - A multi-objective possibilistic programming model was formulated with a focus on minimizing the total cost of transportation, the number of transportation vehicles and the delivery time of meat products. Three sets of Pareto solutions were obtained using the three different solution methods. These methods are the LP-metrics method, the ɛ-constraint method and the weighted Tchebycheff method, respectively. The TOPSIS method was used for seeking a best Pareto solution as a trade-off decision when optimizing the three conflicting objectives. 

Findings - A case study was also applied for examining the effectiveness and applicability of the developed multi-objective model and the proposed solution methods. The research concludes that the ɛ-constraint method has the superiority over the other two proposed methods as it offers a better solution outcome. 

Research limitations/implications - This work addresses as interesting avenues for further research on exploring the delivery planner under different types of uncertainties and transportation means. Also, environmentalism has been increasingly becoming a significant global problem in the present century. Thus, the presented model could be extended to include the environmental aspects as an objective function. 

Practical implications - The developed design methodology can be utilized for food supply chain designers. Also, it could be applied to realistic problems in the field of supply chain management. 

Originality/value - The paper presents a methodology that can be used for tackling a multi-objective optimization problem of a meat supply chain network design. The proposed optimization method has the potential in solving the similar issue providing a compromising solution due to conflicting objectives in which each needs to be achieved toward an optimum outcome to survive in the competitive sector of food supply chains network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-706
JournalBritish Food Journal
Volume119
Issue number3
Early online date13 Feb 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Keywords

  • multi-objective optimization
  • meat
  • management
  • supply chain design
  • possibilistic

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