Speciality oils supply chain optimization: from a decoupled to an integrated planning approach
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- Discussion papers (FOR) 
We study a problem of tactical planning in a divergent supply chain. It involves decisions regarding production, inventory, internal transportation, sales and distribution to customers. The problem is motivated by the context of a company in the speciality oils industry. The overall objective at tactical level is to maximize contribution and, in order to achieve this, the planning has been divided into two separate problems. The first problem concerns sales where the final sales and distribution planning is decentralized to individual sellers. The second problem concerns production, transportation and inventory planning through refineries, hubs and depots and is managed centrally with the aim of minimizing costs. Due to this decoupling, the solution of the two problems needs to be coordinated in order to achieve the overall objective. In the company, this is pursued through an internal price system aiming at giving the sellers the incentives needed to align their decisions with the overall objective. We propose and discuss linear programming models for the decoupled and integrated planning problems. We present numerical examples to illustrate potential effects of integration and coordination and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the integrated over the decoupled approach. While the total contribution is higher in the integrated approach, it has also been found that the sellers' contribution can be considerably lower. Therefore, we also suggest contribution sharing rules to achieve that both the company and sellers get a better outcome under the integrated planning.