A stochastic model for production loading in a global apparel manufacturing company under uncertainty
[in special issue: Challenges in Apparel Production Planning and Control]
Production Planning and Control, 22, (3), . (doi:10.1080/09537287.2010.498603).
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This article studies production loading problems with uncertainties of demand and import quotas experienced by a global apparel manufacturing company, whose markets are located in Northern America and Europe, manufacturing factories are in Asia (Mainland China, Thailand, the Philippines and Sri Lanka) and headquarters in Hong Kong. Loading production among different factories in different countries involves many uncertain factors, such as market information and quota premium. This article presents a two-stage stochastic programming model for production loading problems with uncertainties where the first-stage decisions are made before accurate information is available, and the second-stage decisions are made when the stochasticity is realised. By using the two-stage production planning, the company is able to achieve a quick response to the changing market information while minimising the total production cost. A series of experiments, based on the data from the apparel company, are designed to test the effectiveness of the proposed model. Compared with the results of the deterministic model, the stochastic recourse model can provide a more flexible, responsive and cheaper production loading system
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