Understanding demand volatility in supply chains through the vibrations analogy—the onion supply case
First online: 08.07.2012
Cite this article as: Sharma, S. & Lote, K.S. Logist. Res. (2013) 6: 3. doi:10.1007/s12159-012-0083-z
Fluctuating demand for goods in many situations is not caused by genuine discontinuities in the consumption or usage of those goods. Basic food products, for example, are consumed at relatively stable rates. But disruptions in their supply—real or imputed—may cause demand volatility with consequences of unwanted price fluctuations. In this paper, the vibrations analogy is proposed to better understand this phenomenon. Various alternative scenarios of damping vibrations are discussed in this paper, viz., underdamped, overdamped, and critically damped system. An interpretation of those scenarios is offered with respect to their meaning to supply chain management and illustrated through the case of the onion supply. The proposed analogy is found to be useful in explaining and taking appropriate steps for improvement in such cases.
Supply chain Vibrations analogy Supply disruption Volatility Damping Onion supply