Entropic-related complexity for reengineering a robust supply chain: a case study

Luisa Delfa Huaccho Huatuco, Thomas Burgess, Nicky Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article uses entropic-related complexity to analyse a case study of a business process re-engineering (BPR) intervention to improve the supply chain of a large UK chemicals manufacturer. Entropic-related complexity is defined as the amount of information needed to describe the state of a system; a measure which captures the extent of uncertainty and variety within the system. To evaluate BPR's impact, complexity is calculated before and after the intervention for three elements of the supply chain: incoming supply process, production process and outgoing customer delivery process. The complexity measures are derived from the time-related performance of these three system elements. The results show that the robustness of supply chains, i.e. their ability to perform well despite disturbances, can be assessed using entropic-related complexity retrospectively (after a change has occurred), but it could also be used prospectively (if anticipated outcomes could be estimated) before embarking on BPR initiatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)724-735
JournalProduction Planning and Control
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

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