Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chain


The bullwhip effect occurs when the demand order variabilities in the supply chain are amplified as they move up the chain. The concept is created to help supply chain professionals to effectively counteract the bullwhip effect.

Technique Overview

Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chain

Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chain Definition

The Bullwhip Effect (or the Forrester Effect) is defined as the demand distortion that travels upstream in the supply chain due to the variance of orders which may be larger than that of sales, or the presence of too many echelons in the supply chain (Lee and Billington, 1992).

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Business Evidence

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Business Application

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Professional Tools

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Further Reading

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Bullwhip Effect in Supply Chain References (4 of up to 20) *

  • Aeppel, T. (2010) Bullwhip hits firms as growth snaps back. Wall Street Journal, January 27th.
  • Barros, A.C., Castro, A., Barbosa-Povoa, A and Blanco, E. (2010). A framework for evaluating firm-level supply chain performance. 17th International Annual EurOMA Conference proceedings, 6-9 June.
  • Barilla, SpA, Harvard Business School case (HBS Case 9-694-04).
  • Cachon, G. and Fisher, M. (1997) Campbell soup's continuous replenishment program: Evaluation and enhanced inventory decision rules. Production and Operations Management, Vol.6(3), pp.266-276.

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