This paper describes a model of intelligent supply network that improves efficiency within the supply chain. We argue that intelligence creates efficiency and results in chain optimisation. In particular, intelligent agents technology is used to optimise performance of a beverage logistics network. Optimisation agents can help solve specific problems of supply network: reduce inventories and lessen bullwhip effect, improve communication, and enable chain coordination without adverse risk sharing. We model the beer supply network to demonstrate that products can acquire intelligence to direct themselves throughout the distribution network. Further, they gain a capability to be purchased and sold while in transit. Overviews of the supporting technologies that make intelligent supply network a reality are fully discussed. In particular, optimisation agents have the characteristics of autonomous action, being proactive, reactive, and able to communicate. We demonstrate that agents enhance the flexibility, information visibility, and efficiency of the supply chain management. Suggestions and recommendations for further research are provided.
Mangina, Eleni and Vlachos, Ilias P., "Intelligent Optimisation Agents in Supply Networks" (2003). ICEB 2003 Proceedings. 173.