A summary of the important issues arising in supply chain research is presented. A review of the various mathematical methods used to model and analyse supply chains is then undertaken. They are categorized as: continuous time differential equation models, discrete time difference equation models, discrete event simulation models and operational research techniques. Each method is then appraised from a system dynamics perspective. To conclude, a judgement is made on whether the merits of operational research techniques justify their predominance in industry over the other methods presented here.