Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Healthcare System, Location Inventory Assignment Problem, RFID Technology, Stochastic Demand, supply Chain Network, Vendor Managed Inventory


Zhang, G.




Supply Chain Management in the healthcare sector faces several significant challenges, including complexity in healthcare systems, high supply chain costs, balancing quality and costs, delay in delivery, product availability from vendors, inventory waste, and unpredictability and uncertainty. Among those challenges, having an effective inventory management system with an optimal supply network is important to improve the match between supply and demand, which would improve the performance of for healthcare firms. Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) system is a replenishment solution in which the vendor monitors and decides the time and the quantity of the inventory replenishment of their customers subject to their demand information exchange. A VMI contract in the location-inventory assignment problem is a decision tool for management in the healthcare industry, in which it enables the management to have a cost and service effective decision tool to critically re-evaluate and examine all areas of operations in a SC network looking for avenues of optimization. This dissertation is based on a real-world problem arising from one of the world's leading medical implant supply company applied to a chain of hospitals in the province of Ontario. The chain of hospitals under study consists of 147 hospitals located in Ontario, Canada. The vendor is a supplier of three types of medical implants (a heart valve, an artificial knee, and a hip). In Chapter 2 of this dissertation, we present an optimal supply healthcare network with VMI and with RFID consideration, in which we shed light on the role of the VMI contract in the location-inventory assignment problem and integrate it with both the replenishment policy assignment and the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) investment allocation assignment in healthcare SC networks using both VMI and direct delivery policies. A numerical solution approach is developed in the case of the deterministic demand environment, and we end up with computational results and sensitivity analysis for a real-world problem to highlight the usefulness and validate the proposed model. We extend our research of integrating the VMI contract in the location-inventory assignment problem with the replenishment policy assignment under a deterministic demand environment to include the stochastic demand environment. The impact of the uncertainty of the demand as a random variable following two types of distributions, normal and uniform distributions, is studied in Chapter 3. Motivated by the lack of investigations and comparative studies dealing with the preference of dealing with VMI contracts to other traditional Retailer Managed Inventory (RMI) systems, we provide in Chapter 4 of this dissertation a comparative study in which we compare the total cost of the VMI system with another two situations of traditional RMI systems: first, a traditional RMI system with a continuous replenishment policy for all hospitals and with assigned storage facilities and second, a traditional RMI system with a direct delivery policy for all hospitals without assigning a storage facility. Computational results, managerial insights, sensitivity analysis, and solution methodologies are provided in this dissertation. Keywords: Vendor Managed Inventory, healthcare system, location-inventory, RFID technology, supply-chain network, stochastic demand, location-inventory assignment problem, and retailer managed Inventory.