Strategic Global Supply Chain Network Design: How Decision Analysis Combining MILP and AHP on a Pareto Front Can Improve Decision-making

Juri Reich, Aseem Kinra*, Herbert Kotzab, Xavier Brusset

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Integrating a broad range of information types and finding trade-offs between conflicting goals is a challenge in global supply chain network design (GSCND). Effective decision support systems (DSS) should be user-friendly, provide transparency, and support human judgement. There is a wide range of optimisation models that aim to improve the outcome of network design decisions. However, their practical performance often remains unknown, as their implementation into the managerial decision process is largely neglected. Such theory-driven models usually focus on single aspects of the decision, without being able to accommodate the practical problem comprehensively. We employ the CIMO approach to resolve the issue and contribute by showing how an integration involving these methods can be useful for managers once the proper knowledge transfer has been effectuated. An innovative decision support framework, which combines mixed-integer linear programming, the Analytical Hierarchy Process, and the Pareto front is created and analysed during a case study in the med-tech industry. Results show that the framework accommodates managerial experience, integrates qualitative as well as quantitative criteria, and provides transparency over the entire range of efficient solutions. The framework and application results contribute towards the development of more flexible and easy-to-use decision support systems for GSCND.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1557-1572
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 25 Nov 2020.


  • Supply chain design
  • Global supply chain
  • Multi-criteria decision making
  • Decision support systems
  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Design science research

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