Over the past decade, firms have adopted supply chain management as a critical element of their corporate strategies, but many firms do not realize the anticipated benefits of constructing collaborative operating relationship between supply chain partners. Nowadays, the implementation of collaborative supply chains becomes necessary in all industrial sectors. Moreover, to be competitive in industrial world, the implementation of collaborative supply chain should give positive effect that can be related to sustainable development. Basically, there are three common types of collaboration : vertical collaboration, horizontal collaboration, and lateral collaboration. Vertical collaboration occurs when two or more organizations at different level such as the manufacturer, the distributor, the carrier and the retailer share their responsibilities, resources, and performance information to serve relatively similar end customer. Horizontal collaboration is defined as a business agreement between two or more companies at the same level in the supply chain or network in order to allow greater ease of work and cooperation towards achieving a common objective. Lateral collaboration aims to gain more flexibility by combining and sharing capabilities in both vertical and horizontal manners.
I will present several works found in literature considering operation research and simulation tools for both vertical and horizontal collaboration. I will also present a case study about the collaboration between several UK retailers and some initial results.