Frontier-based performance analysis models for supply chain management: State of the art and research directions




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Peer reviewed



Effective supply chain management relies on information integration and implementation of best practice techniques across the chain. Supply chains are examples of complex multi-stage systems with temporal and causal interrelations, operating multi-input and multi-output production and services under utilization of fixed and variable resources. Acknowledging the lack of system’s view, the need to identify system-wide and individual effects as well as incorporating a coherent set of performance metrics, the recent literature reports on an increasing, but yet limited, number of applications of frontier analysis models (e.g. DEA) for the performance assessment of supply chains or networks. The relevant models in this respect are multi-stage models with various assumptions on the intermediate outputs and inputs, enabling the derivation of metrics for technical and cost efficiencies for the system as well as the autonomous links. This paper reviews the state of the art in network DEA modeling, in particular two-stage models, along with a critical review of the advanced applications that are reported in terms of the consistency of the underlying assumptions and the results derived. Consolidating current work in this range using the unified notations and comparison of the properties of the presented models, the paper is closed with recommendations for future research in terms of both theory and application.



Supply chain management, Data envelopment analysis, Two-stage process, Game theory, Bi-level programming


Agrell, P. J. and Hatami-Marbini, A. (2013) Frontier-based performance analysis models for supply chain management: State of the art and research directions. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 66 (3), pp. 567-583


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)