This paper describes the development of an agent-based framework that supports the purchasing function in supply chain management. The framework has been applied in a case situation for planned order releasing from a manufacturer’s materials requirement planning (MRP) system. The proposed framework incorporates a negotiation protocol that can effectively coordinate the negotiation process between a buyer agent and several supply agents, which may represent the manufacturer and its suppliers respectively. These agents negotiate according to their preferred strategies which aim to conclude a deal that achieves their own objectives. The implementation of the negotiation process involves considerations of the price of the materials required, past delivery performance, and the quality of materials supplied in the past. Simulation is used to explore the effectiveness of the proposed framework using an agent-based negotiation model, and the results indicate that the proposed framework can be used to improve the overall efficiency of the purchasing process. A case example is also presented to demonstrate the usefulness of the framework.
Leung, C.W.; Wong, T.N.; and Sculli, Domenic
"A Framework for Agents Conducting E-Business in a Supply Chain,"
Journal of International Technology and Information Management: Vol. 15
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/jitim/vol15/iss3/4