Home Health Care (HHC) services are becoming increasingly important in Europe’s aging societies. Elderly people have varying degrees of need for assistance and medical treatment. It is advantageous to allow them to live in their own homes as long as possible, since a long-term stay in a nursing home can be much more costly for the social insurance system than a treatment at home providing assistance to the required level. Therefore, HHC services are a cost-effective and flexible instrument in the social system. In Germany, organizations providing HHC services are generally either larger charities with countrywide operations or small private companies offering services only in a city or a rural area. While the former have a hierarchical organizational structure and a large number of employees, the latter typically only have some ten to twenty nurses under contract. The relationship to the patients (“customers”) is often long-term and can last for several years. Therefore acquiring and keeping satisfied customers is crucial for HHC service providers and intensive competition among them is observed.
In this paper, a multi-period supply chain network design problem is addressed. Several aspects of practical relevance are considered such as those related with the financial decisions that must be accounted for by a company managing a supply chain. The decisions to be made comprise the location of the facilities, the flow of commodities and the investments to make in alternative activities to those directly related with the supply chain design. Uncertainty is assumed for demand and interest rates, which is described by a set of scenarios. Therefore, for the entire planning horizon, a tree of scenarios is built. A target is set for the return on investment and the risk of falling below it is measured and accounted for. The service level is also measured and included in the objective function. The problem is formulated as a multi-stage stochastic mixed-integer linear programming problem. The goal is to maximize the total financial benefit. An alternative formulation which is based upon the paths in the scenario tree is also proposed. A methodology for measuring the value of the stochastic solution in this problem is discussed. Computational tests using randomly generated data are presented showing that the stochastic approach is worth considering in these type of problems.
Structuring global supply chain networks is a complex decision-making process. The typical inputs to such a process consist of a set of customer zones to serve, a set of products to be manufactured and distributed, demand projections for the different customer zones, and information about future conditions, costs (e.g. for production and transportation) and resources (e.g. capacities, available raw materials). Given the above inputs, companies have to decide where to locate new service facilities (e.g. plants, warehouses), how to allocate procurement and production activities to the variousmanufacturing facilities, and how to manage the transportation of products through the supply chain network in order to satisfy customer demands. We propose a mathematical modelling framework capturing many practical aspects of network design problems simultaneously. For problems of reasonable size we report on computational experience with standard mathematical programming software. The discussion is extended with other decisions required by many real-life applications in strategic supply chain planning. In particular, the multi-period nature of some decisions is addressed by a more comprehensivemodel, which is solved by a specially tailored heuristic approach. The numerical results suggest that the solution procedure can identify high quality solutions within reasonable computational time.
A general multi-period network redesign problem arising in the context of strategic supply chain planning (SCP) is studied. Several aspects of practical relevance in SCP are captured namely, multiple facility layers with different types of facilities, flows between facilities in the same layer, direct shipments to customers, and facility relocation. An efficient two-phase heuristic approach is proposed for obtaining feasible solutions to the problem, which is initially modeled as a large-scale mixed-integer linear program. In the first stage of the heuristic, a linear programming rounding strategy is applied to second initial values for the binary location variables in the model. The second phase of the heuristic uses local search to correct the initial solution when feasibility is not reached or to improve the solution when its quality does not meet given criteria. The results of an extensive computational study performed on randomly generated instances are reported.
Facility location decisions play a critical role in the strategic design of supply chain networks. In this paper, an extensive literature review of facility location models in the context of supply chain management is given. Following a brief review of core models in facility location, we identify basic features that such models must capture to support decision-making involved in strategic supply chain planning. In particular, the integration of location decisions with other decisions relevant to the design of a supply chain network is discussed. Furthermore, aspects related to the structure of the supply chain network, including those specific to reverse logistics, are also addressed. Significant contributions to the current state-of-the-art are surveyed taking into account numerous factors. Supply chain performance measures and optimization techniques are also reviewed. Applications of facility location models to supply chain network design ranging across various industries are discussed. Finally, a list of issues requiring further research are highlighted.
In this paper we focus on the strategic design of supply chain networks. We propose a mathematical modeling framework that captures many practical aspects of network design problems simultaneously but which have not received adequate attention in the literature. The aspects considered include: dynamic planning horizon, generic supply chain network structure, external supply of materials, inventory opportunities for goods, distribution of commodities, facility configuration, availability of capital for investments, and storage limitations. Moreover, network configuration decisions concerning the gradual relocation of facilities over the planning horizon are considered. To cope with fluctuating demands, capacity expansion and reduction scenarios are also analyzed as well as modular capacity shifts. The relation of the proposed modeling framework with existing models is discussed. For problems of reasonable size we report on our computational experience with standard mathematical programming software. In particular, useful insights on the impact of various factors on network design decisions are provided.
This paper presents new theoretical results for a special case of the batch presorting problem (BPSP). We will show tht this case can be solved in polynomial time. Offline and online algorithms are presented for solving the BPSP. Competetive analysis is used for comparing the algorithms.
In this paper we consider short term storage systems. We analyze presorting strategies to improve the effiency of these storage systems. The presorting task is called Batch PreSorting Problem (BPSP). The BPSP is a variation of an assigment problem, i.e., it has an assigment problem kernel and some additional constraints. We present different types of these presorting problems, introduce mathematical programming formulations and prove the NP-completeness for one type of the BPSP. Experiments are carried out in order to compare the different model formulations and to investigate the behavior of these models.
Territory design may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. In this paper we review the existing literature for applications of territory design problems and solution approaches for solving these types of problems. After identifying features common to all applications we introduce a basic territory design model and present in detail two approaches for solving this model: a classical location–allocation approach combined with optimal split resolution techniques and a newly developed computational geometry based method. We present computational results indicating the efficiency and suitability of the latter method for solving large–scale practical problems in an interactive environment. Furthermore, we discuss extensions to the basic model and its integration into Geographic Information Systems.
Territory design and districting may be viewed as the problem of grouping small geographic areas into larger geographic clusters called territories in such a way that the latter are acceptable according to relevant planning criteria. The availability of GIS on computers and the growing interest in Geo-Marketing leads to an increasing importance of this area. Despite the wide range of applications for territory design problems, when taking a closer look at the models proposed in the literature, a lot of similarities can be noticed. Indeed, the models are many times very similar and can often be, more or less directly, carried over to other applications. Therefore, our aim is to provide a generic application-independent model and present efficient solution techniques. We introduce a basic model that covers aspects common to most applications. Moreover, we present a method for solving the general model which is based on ideas from the field of computational geometry. Theoretical as well as computational results underlining the efficiency of the new approach will be given. Finally, we show how to extend the model and solution algorithm to make it applicable for a broader range of applications and how to integrate the presented techniques into a GIS.