Modeling and analysis of build-to-order supply chains

Angappa Gunasekaran, Wai Ting Ngai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


The build-to-order supply chain (BTO-SC) or make-to-order (MTO) system has received a great deal of attention in recent years because of the success of high-tech companies such as Dell, BMW, Compaq, and Gateway. Some auto companies have also implemented BTO-SC. Quite a few research articles have been written on BTO-SC and MTO. However, those that explicitly address the problems of BTO-SCM with modeling are rather limited in number. Considering the growing importance of more informed and timely decision making in these areas, there is a need to encourage further research on the modeling and analysis of global outsourcing, optimization between product variants and the cost of production, the point of differentiation along the production/assembly process, the selection of suppliers, logistics costs, and customer relationship management. Traditional operations research models have been used to solve supply chain management problems. Considering the importance of BTO or MTO, an attempt has been made to review the selected literature on the modeling and analysis of BTO-SC with the objectives of providing assistance to and motivating both researchers and practitioners to design, develop, and manage BTO-SC effectively; and suggesting some future research directions on BTO supply chain management (BTO-SCM). The literature available on BTO-SCM has been classified based on the nature of the decision-making areas and then sub-classified to focus on solving problems with modeling and analysis. We have focused mostly on the modeling aspect of the BTO-SC, but have not extended our efforts to empirical research. We have developed a unified framework for modeling and analyzing BTO-SCM and suggest some future research directions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • Future research
  • Modeling
  • Review
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Information Systems and Management


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