Order allocation in a multi-supplier environment: review of the literature since 2007

Joan Ignasi Molinè, Anna Maria Coves


Purpose: Optimal order allocation on the part of the buyer in a multi-supplier environment has become a major concern in supply chains.  There are numerous articles that analyze and present models for optimizing order allocation from a given panel of suppliers. The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis on this topic which considers: (i) aims, (ii) results, (iii) model complexity, and (iv) resolution procedures.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper reviews twenty-eight articles, twenty-one of them published since 2007 in journals indexed by Journal Citation Reports (in ISI Web of Knowledge) on this topic.

Findings and Originality/value: This review reveals four main aspects mentioned as determinant in generating mathematical models. The analysis of these four points does not allow for a single, overarching model. Rather, all analyzed solutions reflect and respond to a specific company environment.

Originality/value: A global analysis on several recent papers, describing main aspects wich determines optimal order allocation in multi-supplier environment.


order allocation, suppliers, mathematical models

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.556

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2021

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience