The purpose of this paper is to propose a new approach for the supply chain management. This approach is based on the virtual enterprise paradigm and the usage of multi‐agent concept. The base component of our approach is a virtual enterprise node (VEN). The supply chain is viewed as a set of tiers (corresponding to the levels of production), in which each partner of the supply chain (VEN) is in relation with several customers and suppliers. Each VEN belongs to one tier. The main customer gives global objectives (quantity, cost and delay) to the supply chain. The mediator agent (MA) is in charge to manage the supply chain in order to respect those objectives as global level. Those objectives are taking over to negotiator agent at the tier level (NAT). This architecture allows supply chains management which is completely transparent seen from simple enterprise of the supply chain. The use of multi‐agent system allows physical distribution of the decisional system. Moreover, the hierarchical organizational structure with a decentralized control guarantees, at the same time, the autonomy of each entity and the whole flexibility.
Roy, D., Anciaux, D., Monteiro, T. and Ouzizi, L. (2004), "Multi‐agent architecture for supply chain management", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 15 No. 8, pp. 745-755. https://doi.org/10.1108/17410380410565339
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