Impact of POS data sharing on supply chain management: An experimental study

Rachel Croson, Karen Donohue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

214 Scopus citations


We examine the impact of point of sale (POS) data sharing on ordering decisions in a multi-echelon supply chain. In particular, we focus on how exposure to POS data may help reduce the "bullwhip effect," the tendency of orders to increase in variability as one moves up a supply chain. Theoretical studies have shown that exposure to POS data can lead to a reduction in the bullwhip effect when suppliers have no prior knowledge of the demand distribution. The benefit of sharing POS data in stable industries, where the demand distribution is commonly known, is less clear. We study this phenomenon from a behavioral perspective in the context of a simple, serial, supply chain subject to information lags and stochastic demand. We find, using a controlled simulation experiment, that sharing POS information does help reduce some components of the bullwhip effect in a stable demand setting, namely the order oscillation of upstream members. We offer one possible explanation for this improvement by examining the relationship between order decisions and demand line information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalProduction and Operations Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003


  • Bullwhip effect
  • Experimental analysis
  • POS data
  • Supply chain management


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