Does the ripple effect influence the bullwhip effect? An integrated analysis of structural and operational dynamics in the supply chain?
The ripple effect refers to structural dynamics and describes a downstream propagation of the downscaling in demand fulfilment in the supply chain (SC) as a result of a severe disruption. The bullwhip effect refers to operational dynamics and amplifies in the upstream direction as ordering oscillations. Being interested in uncovering if the ripple effect can be a driver of the bullwhip effect, we performed a simulation-based study to investigate the interrelations of the structural and operational dynamics in the SC. The results advance our knowledge about both ripple and bullwhip effects and reveal, for the first time, that the ripple effect can be a bullwhip-effect driver, while the latter can be launched by a severe disruption even in the downstream direction. The findings show that the ripple effect influences the bullwhip effect through backlog accumulation over the disruption time as a consequence of non-coordinated ordering and production planning policies. To cope with this effect, a contingent production-inventory control policy is proposed that provides results in favour of information coordination in SC disruption management to mitigate both ripple and bullwhip effects. The SC managers need to take into account the risk of bullwhip effect during the capacity disruption and recovery periods.