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An Examination of National Supply-Chain Flow Time



Douglas Thomas, Anand M. Kandaswamy


The US and other national governments invest in research and development to spur competitiveness in their domestic manufacturing industries. However, there are limited studies on identifying the research efforts that will have the largest possible return on investment, resulting in suboptimal returns. Manufacturers commonly measure production time in order to identify areas for efficiency improvement, but this is typically not applied at the national level where efficiency issues may cross between enterprises and industries. Such methods and results can be used to prioritize efficiency improvement efforts at an industry supply-chain level. This paper utilizes data on manufacturing inventory along with data on inter-industry interactions to develop a method for tracking industry-level flow time and identifying bottlenecks in US manufacturing. As a proof of concept, this method is applied to the production of three commodities: aircraft, automobiles/trucks, and computers. The robustness of bottleneck identification is tested utilizing Monte Carlo techniques.
International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology


flow time, supply chain, bottleneck, manufacturing, inventory turns


Thomas, D. and Kandaswamy, A. (2017), An Examination of National Supply-Chain Flow Time, International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, [online], (Accessed May 19, 2024)


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Created December 4, 2017, Updated June 24, 2021