A two-stage decision support model for a retail distribution center location
Keywords:location problem, distribution center, Analytic Hierarchy Process, nonlinear programming, decision making
This paper proposes a model to support the decision-making process of selecting the location of a distribution center for the retail sector. The model was structured in two stages to consider objective and subjective criteria (multicriteria) for the decision-making process. In the first stage, a nonlinear programming model was used to establish a reference site in the region under analysis and identify five cities near that location. The second stage consisted of building a hierarchic structure for making decisions based on criteria and sub-criteria relevant to the process of deciding the location of a distribution center, and applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) multicriteria method for all five previously selected candidate cities. The model was used to define the location of a distribution center for a furniture and appliance retailer in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The results show that the criteria transportation and market have the most influence in the decision-making process, and that the best alternative for the distribution center was the city of Arapongas (PR). The methodology proved to be efficient in the decision analysis presented herein.
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