The extension and exploitation of the inventory and order based production control system archetype from 1982 to 2015

J. Lin, M. M. Naim*, L. Purvis, J. Gosling

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


In 1994, through classic control theory, John, Naim and Towill developed the ‘Automatic Pipeline, Inventory and Order-based Production Control System’ (APIOBPCS) which extended the original IOBPCS archetype developed by Towill in 1982 ─ well-recognised as a base framework for a production planning and control system. Due to the prevalence of the two original models in the last three decades in the academic and industrial communities, this paper aims to systematically review how the IOBPCS archetypes have been adopted, exploited and adapted to study the dynamics of individual production planning and control systems and whole supply chains. Using various databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, Google Scholar (113 papers), we found that the IOBPCS archetypes have been studied regarding the a) modification of four inherent policies related to forecasting, inventory, lead-time and pipeline to create a ‘family’ of models, b) adoption of the IOBPCS ‘family’ to reduce supply chain dynamics, and in particular bullwhip, c) extension of the IOBPCS family to represent different supply chain scenarios such as order-book based production control and closed-loop processes. Simulation is the most popular method adopted by researchers and the number of works based on discrete time based methods is greater than those utilising continuous time approaches. Most studies are conceptual with limited practical applications described. Future research needs to focus on cost, flexibility and sustainability in the context of supply chain dynamics and, although there are a few existing studies, more analytical approaches are required to gain robust insights into the influence of nonlinear elements on supply chain behaviour. Also, empirical exploitation of the existing models is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-152
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Production Economics
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bullwhip effect
  • Planning control
  • Production control
  • Supply chain

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