The COVID-19 pandemic has vividly and dramatically demonstrated the importance of supply chains to the functioning of societies and our economies. The discussion in this timely book explores prominent issues concerning supply chain networks and labor. The readership is aimed to include students, researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers, interested in the wide range of topics presented in these pages. Labor has a particular focus as the driver behind supply chains, whether associated with food products, life-saving medicines and supplies, or high tech products that make innovation possible, just to name a few. The impacts of policy interventions, in the form of wage bounds, and their ramifications, in terms of volume of attracted labor, product prices, product volumes, as well as profits, are explored. Profit-maximizing firms are considered (with relevant associated issues such as waste management in the case of the food sector, for example), but also non-profits, as in blood services, as well as humanitarian organizations engaged in disaster relief. The book is filled with many network figures, graphs, and tables with data, both input and output and includes an appendix that provides the foundations of the underlying mathematical methodologies used.
The book offers strong evidence for the need to provide a holistic, system-wide perspective for the modeling, analysis, and solution of supply chain problems with the inclusion of the critical labor resources. A formalism using the prism of supply chain networks, which yields a graphic representation of supply chains, consisting of multiple stakeholders, is constructed. Models that capture the behaviors and interactions of single decision-makers as well as multiple decision-makers engaged in supply chain activities of production, transportation, storage, and distribution, are considered. The models capture many realistic constraints faced by firms today, as they seek to produce and deliver products, while dealing with competition, various constraints on labor, a variety of disruptions, labor shortages, challenges associated with proper wage-determination, plus the computation of optimal investments in labor productivity subject to budget constraints. The book provides prescriptive suggestions in terms of how to ameliorate negative impacts of labor disruptions and demonstrate benefits of appropriate wage determination.