India has the largest public distribution system (PDS) in the world, working through over five million fair price shops (FPS) to distribute food grains among its beneficiaries at a subsidized rate. In this paper, the authors study the inventory system of Indian FPS. The system involves a distributor, who is solely responsible for the replenishment of the FPS. In a real-world scenario, the distributor is subjected to random supply and transportation disruptions. The purpose of this paper is to investigate and minimize the impacts of such disruptions.
In this paper, the authors adopt a simulation-based technique to explore the impacts of various traits of disruptions like frequency and duration on the FPS inventory system. A simulation model for the Indian FPS is developed and the impacts of disruptions are investigated by a case study.
The authors use a simulation-based optimization technique to suggest a simple managerial change that can lead to a minimization of inventory shortage up to 60 per cent and system cost up to 21 per cent over the existing practice.
The present study addresses the FPS inventory system of Indian PDS, which is by its nature unique and has not been considered by any other previous literature. The findings of this study will be of particular interest to the policy-makers to build a more robust PDS in India.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This work was supported by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India [Grant number 4-25/2013-TS-I].
Chakraborty, S. and Sarmah, S.P. (2019), "Managing supply and transportation disruptions: a case of Indian fair price shops", Kybernetes, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/K-05-2019-0344Download as .RIS
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