Campus Units

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Version

Published Version

Publication Date


Journal or Book Title

Proceedings of the 2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference

Conference Title

2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference

Conference Date

May 20-23, 2017


Pittsburgh, PA


Horizontal collaboration can benefit supply chain partners by increasing their collective competitiveness. However, each participant in the collaboration typically maintains its own individual business objectives. Therefore, such collaborations require a standard operational framework that specifies the allocation of participant responsibilities and benefits. While horizontal collaboration in regional food supply chains is common, very few participants have adopted this type of standard framework. As a result, the sharing of resources and information among partners tends to be inefficient and potentially contentious. This paper describes our efforts to formalize a supply chain collaboration that has developed among several regional food hubs and small-scale food producers in Iowa. The focus of the project has been the design and implementation of a flexible and affordable inventory tracking system that will allow the participants to accurately share logistics information with one another in real time. While the project has faced significant financial constraints, the shared social mission and trust that exists among the participants has facilitated a successful pilot study. The overall goal of the project is to support the sustainable growth and long-term resilience of Iowa’s regional food system while ensuring that each participant is able to maintain sufficient autonomy.


This is a published proceeding from 2017 Industrial and Systems Engineering Conference. Posted with permission.

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