1 Operations Management, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
The food industry is an important sector both because of its direct impacts on the daily lives of people and its large share of GDP compared with other economic sectors. This thesis discusses and develops advanced planning methodologies to optimize operations in food supply chains. From a supply chain perspective, this thesis mainly focuses on the part of the chain which starts from the food processing industry: the food processing industry, the distribution industry, and final consumers. In the second chapter of this thesis, a thorough review is presented classifying the related contributions in strategic, tactical, and operational studies, aiming to explain how several key food distribution planning challenges have been dealt with in the Operations Management literature. The next two chapters discuss specific production and distribution planning problems from the foodservice sector. Generic mathematical models are developed, which represent the main characteristics of this industry, including product quality considerations. The models are solved through tailor-made algorithms and managerial insights based on numerical results are discussed. The last chapter of the thesis summarizes the scientific and managerial conclusions of the research project and outlines the future research directions.