On a responsive replenishment system: a fuzzy logic approach
In today's competitive business environment, it is important that customers are able to obtain their preferred items in the shops they visit, particularly for convenience store chains such as 7–Eleven where popular items are expected to be readily available on the shelves of the stores for buyers. To minimize the cost of running such store chains, it is essential that stocks be kept to a minimum and at the same time large varieties of popular items are available for customers. In this respect, the replenishment system needs to be able to cope with the taxing demands of minimal inventory but at the same time keeping large varieties of needed items. This paper proposes a replenishment system which is able to respond to the fluctuating demands of customers and provide a timely supply of needed items in a cost–effective way. The proposed system embraces the principle of fuzzy logic which is able to deal with uncertainties by virtue of its fuzzy rules reasoning mechanism, thereby leveraging the responsiveness of the entire replenishment system for the chain stores. To validate the feasibility of the approach, a case study has been conducted in an emulated environment with promising results.
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