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Peer-Review Record

A Fuzzy-Based Holistic Approach for Supply Chain Risk Assessment and Aggregation Considering Risk Interdependencies

Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5329; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245329
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Appl. Sci. 2019, 9(24), 5329; https://doi.org/10.3390/app9245329
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 30 November 2019 / Accepted: 2 December 2019 / Published: 6 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industrial Engineering and Management: Current Issues and Trends)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Thanks for the opportunity to review this manuscript. The authors have done a lot of work writing a reasonably well-structured manuscript. I think, however, that readability could be improved through the use of more sub-sections (1.1, 1.2 etc.). 

I think the contribution of the paper (and identification of a "knowledge gap") could be articulated more clearly. Right now you identify four areas - could this be written in a more concise way? 

I believe that some of the terms and concepts from the management/business literature should be explained a bit more. The readership of this journal may have more of a technical (non-management) background and may not have a high degree of familiarity with these concepts and terms. In particular, Kaplan & Norton's Balanced Scorecard could be explained a bit more and the authors could add some key references from the accounting/strategy literature. For example, multiple reviews of the Balanced Scorecard literature have been published in the last 5-7 years. 

The conclusion section could benefit from a clearer structure; a concise identification of theoretical and practical contributions, discussion of weaknesses/shortcomings and ideas for how these could be addressed in future work. 

Author Response

We appreciate the suggestions and positive comments of the reviewers.

In this revised version we have thoroughly accounted for the suggestions included in the reviewer evaluations, as well as those provided by the editorial evaluation. We provide below responses to the specific comments of the reviewers and describe the changes introduced in the paper to account for their suggestions. All the modifications are highlighted in red characters.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper "A fuzzy-based holistic approach for Supply Chain Risk Assessment and Aggregation considering risk interdependencies" adequately integrates all stages of the risk assessment process assuming an advance with respect to the related literature focused on partial objectives. In addition, the treatment of uncertainty by fuzzy logic brings innovation to the study. Including a case study is very illustrative of the proposed holistic risk assessment framework and is therefore highly valued. It would be very interesting for readers to include the rest of the results in an annex taking advantage of the option proposed by the journal. In the same way, it would be very valuable to revise the English translation.

It would be advisable to structure the text according to the sections proposed by the journal since they would fit perfectly with the text presented and would help to give it a scientific format. I suggest merging section 1 and 2 under the heading "Introduction", as it is suitable for housing background and state of the art (review of related bibliography). The title of the section "3. Research framework" could be changed to "Materials and Methods", adding a presentation of the case study at the end as in lines 284-291. The following would be "Results" where the results from line 292 would be displayed. Finally, the last two sections are correctly titled.

Next, some comments and suggestions are listed that may help authors to adapt the substance to each section:

Between the current section of introduction and related literature there is an adequate exposition of the context of the work and the state of the art. The number of references is adequate and they are also recent. I invite the authors to reconsider the questions in lines 64-69 in order to establish them as the starting hypothesis of the research or as objectives of the work. In paragraph 70-84 there is a presentation of the contributions of this work that it would be more recommendable if they were in conclusions. Paragraph 85-88 sets out how the text is organized, however, it is not very necessary as it will follow the typical structure of a paper. The information in lines 52-54 is repeated later in lines 124-127. In the same way, the analysis of the studies of reference Ho et al. [9] in line 46 are repeated in line 127. It is recommended to reconsider a grouping of both references since they would be in the same introductory section.

In the methodological section there is an orderly exposition of the steps of the process of risk analysis, but there is a lack of exposition of the methodology to implement fuzzy logic. Depending on the entity of the explanation, this could be done in an annex. Figure 3 includes terms such as: Oj, Rjk and rNK that are defined later, so it might be more useful to locate this figure after defining those variables. Then, in Figure 4, the trapezoidal and triangular distributions are defined, which the linguistic labels follow according to Saaty's indications. At this point it could be explained which distribution follows each linguistic label and why that distribution is chosen. Lines 205-206 repeat the FMEA limitation with a different reference to the same limitation shown in 104-106, so you are invited to join them.

The results section (currently named "case illustrative") shows many results that help to properly follow the application of the proposed methodology to the case study. Authors are invited to attempt to convert some tables into figures, such as Table 2, 9, 10 and 11, to facilitate their interpretation. In addition, it would be advisable to separate these tables and figures according to the formatting rules of the template.

The discussion section highlights the benefits of the methodology implemented and the results obtained, however, it should focus on interpreting the results in perspective with similar studies, analysing the context of the case study and considering what would happen in other possible scenarios. Likewise, it would be appropriate to place table 12 followed by table 13 so that it does not appear to be in the conclusions section.

The Conclusions section adequately highlights the contribution of the work to the current state of supply chain risk assessment. In addition, it considers the setting out of future lines of research and the applicability of this methodology in Industry 4.0. A previous section indicating the limitations of this study and/or the simplifications considered would complete the content of this section.

Lastly, some considerations on the text format are indicated:

Add department to which the author 1 belongs and expand the acronym CIM of the authors 2. Check spacing in lines 64-69, 108-109, 270-271, 273-275, 410-439, etc. Separate the equations given in expression (1) and reference them appropriately in the text.. Define acronyms: HAZOP (line 193), KRI (line 280) y KPI (line 371). Check previous and subsequent space in the paragraph preceding figures, tables and their caption, and equations (except expression (4)), as stated in the template. This will facilitate the reading of the work. Apply italics to variables: l, Ajl, Oj, etc. to better identify them in the text. - Revise the format of Table 12 since it does not show the complete content in several cells and does not adapt to what is proposed by the journal.

Author Response

We appreciate the suggestions and positive comments of the reviewers.

In this revised version we have thoroughly accounted for the suggestions included in the reviewer evaluations, as well as those provided by the editorial evaluation. We provide below responses to the specific comments of the reviewers and describe the changes introduced in the paper to account for their suggestions. All the modifications are highlighted in red characters.

 

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 1 Report

 

The authors have done a decent job addressing my comments. Overall, I think the readability of the manuscript is better now. That said, there is still some room for improvement in terms of English language and style.

 

Author Response

Following your indications, the English language and style have been revised by a fluent English speaker.

Reviewer 2 Report

In this second version, the authors have adequately resolved most of the issues highlighted by the reviewer. In the next version of the manuscript, please resolve the following formatting errors, such as:

- Delete line 207 previous to figure 1, 316, 333

- Spacing after equation 1, after table 6, 7, 9 (as it does after table 8)

Author Response

We have corrected the indicated formatting errors.

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