Tactical supply chain planning models with inherent flexibility: definition and review

Masoud Esmaeilikia, Behnam Fahimnia*, Joseph Sarkis, Kannan Govindan, Arun Kumar, John Mo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

81 Citations (Scopus)


Supply chains (SCs) can be managed at many levels. The use of tactical SC planning models with multiple flexibility options can help manage the usual operations efficiently and effectively, whilst improve the SC resiliency in response to inherent environmental uncertainties. This paper defines tactical SC flexibility and identifies tactical flexibility measures and options for development of flexible SC planning models. A classification of the existing literature of SC planning is introduced that highlights the characteristics of published flexibility inclusive models. Additional classifications from the reviewed literature are presented based on the integration of flexibility options used, solution methods utilized, and real world applications presented. These classifications are helpful for identifying research gaps in the current literature and provide insights for future modeling and research efforts in the field.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)407-427
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 01.09.2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Supply chain
  • Tactical planning
  • Flexibility
  • Integration
  • Uncertainty
  • Review


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