A design method for supply chain traceability systems with aligned interests

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-24
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


Supply chain traceability systems are valuable for managing product safety product recall reverse logistics etc. Designing a traceability system that is efficient and effective at system level while still motivating individual chain parties to participate is however a rather challenging task. In this paper we propose a new design approach that adapts the Axiomatic design method to incorporate operations management insights. Our theoretical contributions lie in the following aspects: (1) identifying implementable design parameters through a zigzagging decomposition process (2) quantifying the relationship between design parameters and system economics using rigorous models (3) aligning individual interest by decoupling the design matrix using the Independence Axiom. Two decoupling approaches for traceability system design are proposed - rebuilding the relationship in the design matrix via cost reallocation and organizing interest-aligned subsystems via grouping related players. Furthermore we validate the proposed method with a numerical design example which shows that the proposed method delivers better performance than traditional ones. Our theoretical and numerical results establish that the proposed method can optimize the traceability chain as a whole while keep self-interested chain parties motivated. Such designs can facilitate wide adoption of traceability systems.

Research Area(s)

  • Axiomatic design, Independence axiom, Interest alignment, Traceability system