The Bullwhip Effect: Managerial Insights on the Impact of Forecasting and Information on Variability in a Supply Chain

  • Frank Chen
  • Zvi Drezner
  • Jennifer K. Ryan
  • David Simchi-Levi
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 17)


An important observation in supply chain management, popularly known as the bull-whip effect, suggests that demand variability increases as one moves up a supply chain. For example, empirical evidence suggests that the orders placed by a retailer tend to be much more variable than the customer demand seen by that retailer. This increase in variability propagates up the supply chain, distorting the pattern of orders received by distributors, manufacturers and suppliers.


Supply Chain Lead Time Inventory Level Customer Demand Inventory Policy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Chen
    • 1
  • Zvi Drezner
    • 2
  • Jennifer K. Ryan
    • 3
  • David Simchi-Levi
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Decision SciencesNational University of SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Department of Management Science/Information SystemsCalifornia State UniversityFullertonUSA
  3. 3.School of Industrial EngineeringPurdue UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Department of Industrial Engineering and Management SciencesNorthwestern UniversityUSA

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