Assessing Cause and Effect in Supply Chain Problems Using Sports Ranking Models


  • Don Pope1 (Abilene Christian University, Abilene, Texas 79699, USA)

Supply chain problems are complex to understand and solve because of the interaction between multiple factors within and between tiers of the chain. Causal factors in business process deficiencies can be thought of as networks of factors, each of which has possible cause-effect relationship with selected other factors. The full significance of any given factor cannot be understood by evaluating just direct relationships between factors, but must be evaluated considering the total direct and indirect influences throughout the entire network of causal linkages. Because of their applicability to such general networks of relationships, sports ranking methodologies have application to cause-effect analysis. Three different matrix-based sports ranking methodologies are discussed and applied to quality cause-effect analysis: Google PageRank, Colley and Massey methods. Of these three, the PageRank and Massey methods are shown to be reasonable approaches in this application context, depending on the causal data available. All the methods are intuitive to apply and compute with spreadsheets.

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