Avoiding the bullwhip effect using Damped Trend forecasting and the Order-Up-To replenishment policy


We study the Damped Trend forecasting method and its bullwhip generating behaviour when used within the Order-Up-To (OUT) replenishment policy. Using z-transform transfer functions we determine complete stability criteria for the Damped Trend forecasting method. We show that this forecasting mechanism is stable for a much larger proportion of the parametrical space than is generally acknowledged in the literature. We provide a new proof to the known fact that the Naïve, Exponential Smoothing and Holts Method forecasting, when used inside the OUT policy, will always generate bullwhip for every possible demand process, for any lead-time. Further, we demonstrate the Damped Trend OUT system behaves differently. Sometimes it will generate bullwhip and sometimes it will not. Bullwhip avoidance occurs when demand is dominated by low frequency harmonics in some instances. In other instances bullwhip avoidance happens when demand is dominated by high frequency harmonics. We derive sufficient conditions for when bullwhip will definitely be generated and necessary conditions for when bullwhip may be avoided. We verify our analytical findings with a numerical investigation.

International Journal of Production Economics, 149, 3–16