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Thanks to these technologies companies can now

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Unformatted text preview: hese technologies, companies can now replace costly logistics flows and inventories by information. How to deploy these technologies and coordinate supply chain-wide activities constitutes the latest advances in supply chain management. The objective of the present paper is to study information sharing in the specific context of global supply chain management. While there exist several works on information sharing in the general context (e.g., [3]), no work specifically addresses information sharing in the supply chain. The present paper reports on some common types of information sharing in a supply chain. It is only a small step toward answering the more challenging and frequently asked questions such as “What is the minimum set of information to share with my supply chain partners without risking any potential exploitation?” The paper is organized as follows. Section 2 describes the types of information shared and the associated benefits. Section 3 discusses alternative system models to facilitate information sharing. Section 4 addresses the challenges of information sharing. 2. Types of Shared Information 2. 1. Inventory Level One of the most common data shared between supply chain partners is inventory level. As [4] indicate, inventory and communication are economic substitutes. Access to supply chain inventory status can contribute to lowering the total inventory level in the supply chain. To see this, consider two companies in a supply chain in which a retail chain purchases products from a manufacturer. If the retailer and the manufacturer independently manage their respective inventories without sharing inventory status information, they may end up having duplicate safety inventories, or stockouts at both locations. A solution to this inefficiency is to coordinate the management of inventories at the two sites. Indeed, it was proven in that “echelon-based” inventory control is optimal under certain assumptions. The echelon inventory is the combined inventory at 2 the site and at its downstream partner. In [6]...
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