Supply Chain Management Simulation: An Overview

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Chapter 1Supply Chain Management Simulation:An Overview1.1. Supply chain managementIn this book we are concerned with the simulation of supply chain management(SCM). We focus on simulation approaches which are used to study SCM practices[VOL 05].The existence of several interpretations of SCM is a source of confusion both forthose studying the concept and those implementing it. In fact, this term can expresstwo concepts, depending on how it is used: supply chain orientation (SCO) isdefined ([MEN 01]) as “the recognition by an organization of the systemic, strategicimplications of the tactical activities involved in managing the various flows in asupply chain”. SCM is the “implementation of this orientation in the differentmember companies of the supply chain”.1.1.1. Supply chain viewpointsAs already mentioned, the main topic of this book is related to the use ofsimulations for supply chain management and control. However, in order tounderstand what simulations can be useful for this objective, it is important tohighlight the different issues of SCM, and to understand what a supply chain is orhow many types of SC can be considered. Thus, two viewpoints can be considered:Chapter written by Caroline THIERRY, Gérard BEL and André THOMAS.

2Simulation for Supply Chain Management– the system under study is the SC of a given business, and we can consider:- the internal SC of a business which focuses on functional activities andprocesses and on material and information flows within the business. In this caseSCM may be viewed as the integration of previously separate operations within abusiness,- the external SC of the business which includes the business, suppliers to thecompany and the suppliers’ suppliers, customers of the company and the customers’customers (SCOR). In this case SCM mainly focuses on integration and cooperationbetween the enterprise and the other actors of the supply chain;– the supply chain under study is a network of businesses (without focusing onone particular business of the supply chain): a supply chain is a “network oforganizations that are involved, through upstream and downstream linkages, in thedifferent processes and activities that produce value in the form of products andservices in the hands of the ultimate consumer” ([CHR 92]). In this viewpoint, thefocus is on the virtual and global nature of business relationships betweencompanies. In this case, supply chain management mainly focuses on cooperationbetween the supply chain actors.1.1.2. Supply chain management1.1.2.1. Supply chain processes: the integrated supply chain point of viewTo describe supply chains from a process point of view, we refer to the supplychain operations reference (SCOR) model. SCOR is a cross-industry standard forsupply chain management and has been developed and endorsed by the supply-chaincouncil (SCC). SCOR focuses on a given company and is based on five distinctmanagement processes: plan, source, make, deliver and return.Figure 1.1. The SCOR processes ([SCO 05])

Supply Chain Management Simulation3SCM addresses different types of problems according to the decision horizonconcerned. Long range (strategic) decisions are concerned with the supply chainconfiguration: number and location of suppliers, production facilities, distributioncenters, warehouses and customers, etc. Medium and short range (tactical andoperational) decisions are concerned with material management decisions: inventorymanagement, planning processes, forecasting processes, etc.On the other hand, information management is also a key parameter of supplychain management: integrating systems and processes using the supply chain toshare valuable information, including demand notices, forecasts, inventory andtransportation, etc.Figure 1.2 which is adapted from the SSCP-Matrix [STA 00] summarizes thedifferent supply chain decision processes.SupplynetworkdesignSuppliers urchasingquantitiesInventory esignDistributionnetworkdesignPlant locationDistribution structureSales tybookingInventory levelMaterialMasterrequirement schedulingLot sizeDeliverLot sizeCapacitybookingInventory ies andmodesProduction Transportscheduling schedulingStart and finishdelivery datesStart and finishdates for eachoperationStart and finishtransportationdatesOrderingmaterialsShop tand ATPFigure 1.2. Different supply chain decision processes (1 organizational unit)CUSTOMERSLongtermMakeSales forecasting and demandplanningSource

4Simulation for Supply Chain ManagementSCM deals with the integration of organizational units. Thus the different supplychain processes will be more or less distributed according to the level of integrationof the different processes. Dynamic behavior of supply chain management systemThere is a process which organizes the decisions at different levels in the supplychain management system. This system (virtual world) is connected to theproduction system (real world) in order to compose a “closed loop” dynamic designSuppliers selection Plant rchasingquantitiesInventory tionquantities and modesLot sizeProduction Transportscheduling schedulingStart and finishdelivery datesStart and finishdates for eachoperationOrderingmaterialsShop floorcontrolEnd ofprocessing timeon a resourceDistributionnetworkdesignCapacityCapacity bookingbookingInventory level Inventory levelMaterialMasterrequirement schedulingLot sizeShorttermSales &OperationPlanningSaleStart and ts locationDemandfulfillmentand ATPInventory levelScheduled receipts(end of planning periods)Material flowFigure 1.3. Dynamic behavior of SCM systemCUSTOMERSLongtermMakeSales forecasting and demandplanningSource

Supply Chain Management Simulation51.1.2.3. Supply chain processes: the collaborative supply chain point of viewLet us now consider (Figure 1.4) at least two independent organizational units(legal entities).Suppliers selection Plant rchasingquantitiesInventory distributionplanningCapacityCapacity bookingbookingInventory level Inventory levelMaterialMasterrequirement schedulingLot sizeShorttermSales Lot sizeDistributionPlanningStart and finishdates for eachoperationOrderingmaterialsShop floorcontrolSourceSupplynetworkdesignStart and gnSuppliers selection Plant nventory levelSales &OperationPlanningLot sizeDemandfulfillmentand ctureMasterdistributionplanningCapacityCapacity bookingbookingInventory level Inventory levelMaterialMasterrequirement schedulingTransportationquantities and modesProduction Transportscheduling schedulingStart and finishdelivery datesSaleLot sizeDistributionPlanningTransportationquantities and modesProduction Transportscheduling schedulingStart and finishdelivery datesStart and finishdates for eachoperationOrderingmaterialsShop floorcontrolSaleStart and tworkdesignSales forecasting and demandplanningSupplynetworkdesignSales forecasting and demandplanningSourceLongtermDemandfulfillmentand ATPWarehousereplenishmentMaterial flowFigure 1.4. Different supply chain decision processes (2 independent units)In this collaborative supply chain, as far as a supplier-buyer partnership isestablished, several problems arise:– how can we exchange/share information?– is it possible to perform mutual problem solving?– how can we set up global supply chain indicators?– etc.Thus, the problem of the centralization or distribution of the information anddecision processes within the supply chain becomes a main challenge for the supplychain managers.1.2. Supply chain management simulation1.2.1. Why use simulation for SCM?As far as simulation is concerned the objective is to evaluate the supply chainperformances. We distinguish three ways of carrying out SC performancemeasurement:

6Simulation for Supply Chain Management– analytical methods, such as queueing theory;– Monte Carlo methods, such as simulation or emulation;– physical experimentations, such as lab platforms or industrial pilot implementations.In this SC context, analytical methods are impractical because the mathematicalmodel corresponding to a realistic case is often too complex to be solved.Obviously, physical experimentations suffer from technical- and cost-relatedlimitations. Simulation seems the only recourse to model and analyze performancesfor such large-scale cases. Simulation enables, on the one hand, the design of thesupply chain and on the other hand, the evaluation of supply chain managementprior to implementation of the system to perform what-if analysis leading to the“best” decision. This simulation includes supply chain flow simulation and decisionprocess dynamics. In the field of SCM, simulation can be used to support supplychain design decisions or evaluation of supply chain policies. As far as supply chaindesign decisions are concerned, the following decisions can be considered:– localization:- location of facilities,- supply and distribution channel configuration,- location of stocks;– selection:- suppliers,- partner;– size:- capacity booking,- stock level,- etc.As far as the evaluation of supply chain control policies is concerned, thefollowing decisions can be considered:– control policies:- inventory management, control policies,- planning processes;– collaboration policies:- cooperation/collaboration/coordination, etc.,- information sharing, etc.

Supply Chain Management Simulation71.2.2. How can we use SCM simulation?To attempt to specify the different ways to use SCM simulation it is important todifferentiate, on the one hand, the real system (the “real world”) and on the other, itssimulation model.In fact, the simulation model must be built according to its usage and/or the SCMfunction that we want to model or to evaluate. Different classes of models can behighlighted to understand the variety of SC simulation models according to:– the systemic decomposition of the SCM system:- decision system,- information system,- physical system;Decision system(Hierarchical Planning andcontrol process)DecisionReal stateInformation systemDecisionReal statePhysical system(parts, resources, etc.)Figure 1.5. Systemic decomposition of the SCM system– the level of distribution of the system:- simulation model for centralized SCM system evaluation. A centralized SCMsystem consists of a single information and decision system for the different entitiesof the supply chain under study;- simulation model for distributed SCM system evaluation. A distributed SCMsystem consists of a distribution of the decision system over different entities of thesupply chain under study.As a matter of fact, the execution of the simulation can be performed:– in a centralized way on a single computer;– in a decentralized way:- on multiprocessor computing platforms: parallel simulation,

8Simulation for Supply Chain Management- or on geographically distributed computers interconnected via a network,local or wide: distributed simulation.Decentralization of the simulation is “the execution of a single main simulationmodel, made up by several sub-simulation models, which are executed, in adistributed manner, over multiple computing stations” [TER 04].The need for a distributed execution of a simulation across multiple computersderives from several main reasons [TER 04]:– to reduce execution simulation time;– to reproduce a system geographic distribution;– to integrate different simulation models that already exist and to integratedifferent simulation tools and languages;– to increase tolerance to simulation failures;– to test different control models independently;– to progressively deploy a control system;– to prepare protocol modifications at supply chain control.Furthermore, it is important to stress that simulation mostly focuses on thedynamics of the supply chain processes concerning both physical and decisionsystems (i.e. production management systems, see section 1.3.1).1.3. Supply chain management simulation typesThis section is dedicated to the presentation of the different types of models andapproaches mainly used for supply chain management simulation.As seen before, an important part of the model is the decision system model(hierarchical planning and control processes). Thus, section 1.3.1. presents the mainproduction management models which are used in SCM.Then, the different types of well known simulation models will be quicklypresented. For each of them we will highlight how the different productionmanagement models can be linked with the simulation model.1.3.1. Production management models focusThe objective of this section is to focus on and present a very synthetic andsimplified description of production management models in order to introduce, in a

Supply Chain Management Simulation9following section, how they can be integrated in a supply chain simulation model.Here we focus only on production processes. The approach could be extended tosupply and distribution processes.There are two main categories of production management models. Time bucket modelsIn production planning and control, and mainly for the long and medium term,we are concerned with the determination of quantities to be produced per timeperiod for a given horizon in order to satisfy demand or/and forecast. In order toperform these decision processes, time bucket models are needed. They arecharacterized by:– decision variables: produced, stocked or transported quantities;– data: resource capacities (in number of parts per period, for example);– constraints: conservation of flow, cost of materials, limited capacities, demandsatisfaction, etc.EXAMPLE.– for a production line composed of two production resources (seeFigure 1.6).ProductionFigure 1.6. Time bucket model (example)The demand is dt and the production resource capacities are CR1,t, CR2,t. Eachitem is produced from one single component.The planning model variables are:– xRi,t quantity of items to be produced with resource Ri during time period t;– yRi,t quantity of items to be transported from resource Ri during time period t;– IiRi,t input inventory level of resource Ri at the beginning of time period t;– IoRi,t output inventory level of resource Ri at the beginning of time period t.

10Simulation for Supply Chain ManagementThe planning model constraints are:– IiR1,t 1 IiR1,t - x R1,t;– IoR1,t 1 IoR1,t x R1,t - yR1,t;– Ii R2,t 1 IiR2,t - x R2,t yR1,t;– IoR2,t 1 IoR2,t xR2,t – yR2,t;– y R2,t d t;– xR1,t CR1,t;– xR2,t CR2,t;– Ii R1,t0 ;– IiR,t O R {R1, R2}, t;– IoR,t O R {R1, R2}, t;– xR,t 0 R {R1, R2}, t;– yR,t 0 R {R1, R2}, t.Associated with these models, the following methods are used to perform theplan: MRP-like methods, mathematical programming, constraint programming,metaheuristics. Starting time modelsIn production planning and control, and mainly in the short-term, we are alsoconcerned with the determination of the starting time of tasks on different resources.For that we use starting time models (sequence of timed events). These models arecharacterized by:– decision variables: starting time of tasks (ti);– data: ready dates (ri,) due dates (di);– constraints: precedence, resource sharing, due dates.Example:– ti ri;– ti tj pj OR tj ti pi;– ti pi di.

Supply Chain Management Simulation11Associated with these models, the following methods are used to perform theschedule: mathematical programming, constraint programming, metaheuristics, etc.1.3.2. Simulation typesDue to the special characteristics of supply chains, building the supply chainsimulation model is difficult. The two main difficulties are highlighted, and then thedifferent types of models for SCM simulation are quickly presented. Size of the systemOne characteristic of supply chain simulation is the huge number of “objects” tobe modeled. A supply chain is composed of a set of companies, a set of factories andwarehouses, a set of production resources and stocks. Between all these productionresources circulate a set of components, parts, assembled parts, sub-assemblies andfinal products. Thus, the number of “objects” of the model can be very large. Complexity of the production management systemTo simulate a system it is necessary to simulate the behavior of the “physical”system and the behavior of the “control” system. For a supply chain this implicatesthat it is necessary to model the behavior of the supply chain management system ofeach company and the relationship between these production management systems(cooperation).As this SCM system is very complex, it can be difficult to model it in detail.However, it is absolutely necessary to model it, as it is this system which controlsthe product flow in the supply chain. Thus, according to the objective of thesimulation study and the type of model chosen, various aggregated or simplifiedmodels of the production management system must be designed. The followingsections present different examples of these models. Different types of models for SCM simulation1. Simulation modelA simulation model is composed of a set of “objects” and relationships betweenthese objects; for example, in a supply chain the main objects are items (or sets ofitems) and resources (or sets of resources).Each object is characterized by a set of “attributes”. Some attributes have a fixedvalue (for example, name), while others have a value which varies over time (forexample, position of an item in a factory).

12Simulation for Supply Chain ManagementThe state of an object at a given time is the value of all its attributes. The state ofa system at a given time is the set of the attributes of the objects included in thesystem.The purpose of a simulation model is to represent the dynamic behavior of thesystem.There are various modeling approaches according to how state variations areconsidered:– states vary continuously: continuous approach;– states vary at a specific time (event): discrete-event approach.The following parts of this section will introduce Chapters 2 to 4 which will gointo detail on the viewpoint and present related works (state of the art and recentworks).1.3.3. SCM simulation using continuous simulation approachIn this section we will introduce system dynamics, a continuous simulationapproach where states vary continuously. Chapter 2 will go into detail and presentrecent works related to SCM simulation from this point of view. System dynamicsThis new paradigm was first proposed by Forester for studying “industrialdynamics”.Companies are seen as complex systems with [KLE 05]:– different types of flows: manpower, technology, money and market flows;– stocks or levels which are integrated into time according to the flow variations.System dynamics are centered on the dynamics behavior. This is a flow modelwhere it is not possible to differentiate between individual entities (such as transportresources).Management control is performed by making variations on rates (productionrates, sale rates, etc.). Control of rates can be viewed as a strong abstraction ofcommon production management rules.

Supply Chain Management Simulation13The model takes into account the “closed loop effect”: the manager is supposedto compare the value of a performance indicator to a target value continuously. Incase of deviation he implements corrective action.Example:– It2 It1 p(xr t1,t2 – drt1,t2);– xr t1,t2 production rate between two dates t1 and t2;– dr t1,t2 sale rate between two dates t1 and t2;– p time duration between t1 and t2. Production management models/simulation modelsThe two models do not consider the same objects states:– in system dynamics, objects are continuous flows. The behavior of these flowsis represented by a differential equation (with derivative) which is integrated using atime sampling approach;– in planning models, the objects are resources and their activities. It isconsidered that the attributes of these activities change only at a special periodicdate. There is no notion of a derivative.This type of model seems well adapted to supply chain simulation as it wasdesigned by Forester for “industrial dynamics” studies which used the sameconcepts as those recently used in supply chain studies.1.3.4. SCM simulation using discrete-event approachIn this section we will detail the discrete-event approach. We will distinguishbetween the time bucket-driven approach and event-driven approach. Thisdifferentiation is based on the time advance procedures which characterize these twoapproaches. Chapter 3 will go into detail and present recent works related to SCMsimulation from this point of view.For the “discrete-event approach” they are:– different ways of “looking at the world”: event, activity and process,

14Simulation for Supply Chain ManagementeventactivitytimeprocessFigure 1.7. Events, activities, processes– different procedures to make the time advance in the simulation:- event-driven,eventeventeventeventtimeFigure 1.8. Event-driven discrete-event simulation- time bucket-driven.eventeventActivityTime bucketTime bucketTime buckettimeFigure 1.9. Time bucket-driven discrete-event simulationThe main practices for “mixing” various types of models and time advanceprocedures are listed below.continuousactivitieseventsprocessTime bucketdrivenXXxxEvent drivenNot possiblewith theapproachxXXFigure 1.10. Discrete-event simulation

Supply Chain Management Simulation151.3.4.1. Time bucket-driven approachDiscrete-event simulation using the time bucket-driven approach is rarely usedfor job shop simulation but it fits well for simulation of supply chain management(see the specific characteristics of this simulation in sections and Time bucket-driven discrete-event modelsIn such a model:– time is divided into periods of a given length: time bucket;– time is incremented step-by-step with a given time bucket. At the end of eachstep a new state is calculated using the model equations. Thus, in this approach itcan be considered that events (corresponding to a change of state) occur at eachbeginning of a period;– the lead time for an item on a production resource is considered smallcompared to the size of the time bucket;– the main states are the states of resources (or set of resources) during a givenperiod: they describe the activities in which resources are implicated in a given timeperiod. They are characterized by the quantities of items processed in this activity ina given time period: for example, the number of items of a given type manufactured,stocked or transported by a given resource in a given period;– the simulation has to determine all the states of all the resources at each periodof a simulation run.This type of model is also called a “spreadsheet simulation” [KLE 05]. We donot use this designation because a spreadsheet is a tool which it is possible to usewith all the modeling approaches. Simulation modelsIt must be noted that the planning models presented in section 1.3.1 are also timebucket models which are well known and used in the production managementdomain. We will see hereafter that they are very similar to time bucket-drivendiscrete-event simulation models but that they are used in a different way insimulation.In order to illustrate this, we consider a very simple example of a production linecomposed of two production resources with no specific production management.Shop floor control is a first-in first-out strategy; k is the number of parts from M1 tobe used to produce one part on M2.

16Simulation for Supply Chain ManagementShop floor controlTransportationM1(yR1,t)input Productionouputinventoryinventory(xR1, 2,touputinventoryIR2,tFigure 1.11. Production management models/simulation models (example)The simulation model uses the following state variables:– IiRi,t is the input inventory level of resource Ri at the beginning of time period t;– IoRi,t is the output inventory level of resource Ri at the beginning of time period t;– xRi,t is the quantity of parts produced by resource Ri during the time bucket t(available at the end of t);– yRi,t is the quantity of parts transported from Ri during time bucket t (availableat the end of t).The model of the dynamic behavior of the system is the following:– Ii R1,t 1 IiR1,t - x R1,t;– IoR1,t 1 IoR1,t x R1,t - yR1,t;– Ii R2,t 1 IiR2,t - x R2,t yR1,t;– IoR2,t 1 IoR2,t xR2,t - yR2,t;– xR1,t CR1,t;–xR2,t CR2,t.It can be noted immediately that this model is very similar to the productionmanagement model presented in section order to illustrate this, let us consider a simulation with this modelcorresponding to the following hypothesis: resource R1 sends parts to resource R2

Supply Chain Management Simulation17according to a production and transportation plan determined outside of the system.Thus, IiR1,t0, IiR2,t0, xR1,t,, xR2,t, yR1,t, yR2,t are known at the beginning of the simulation.In this case, the true state variables of the model are IiR1,t, IiR2,t, IoR1,t and IoR2,t.The simulation must determine the variation over time of these variables takinginto account the values of the exogenous variables (xR1,t,, xR2,t, yR1,t, yR2,t). Thus,simulation allows the evaluation of the proposed production and transportation plan.It is also possible to introduce hazard into the behavior of the model.x R1,t xy R1,t yIiR2,tR2,tSimulationIo Ri,tIi Ri,tR1,t0AléasPerturbationsFigure 1.12. Simulation processThis shows that the same model can be used in a:– simulation decision process: taking into account xR1,t xM2,t, yR1,t and yR2,t. Theproblem is to determine IiR1,t, IiR2,t , IoR1,t and IoR2,t;– production planning decision process: in a centralized planning (APS or SCMlike) the problem is to determine xRi,t and yRi,t which satisfy the constraints of theplanning model (stock capacity, supplier demand).NOTE.– it is possible to use a “what if” approach with the planning model testingdifferent demands or different production management policies. In this “what if”approach, the problem is solved several times, each time with this different data.Then it is possible to see the influence of these data on the generated plan. Thisapproach is not considered in this book; we refer to simulation only when thedynamics of the system are considered. Production management models/simulation modelsNow the question is: how can the different production management models belinked to a discrete-event simulation model with the time bucket approach?The time bucket production planning model can be easily linked to the globalsimulation model as the modeling approach is the same. In this case the two models

18Simulation for Supply Chain Managementwill be joined up: the simulation model focuses on the circulation of the flow ofparts, the planning model determines the quantities to be produced. Chapter 3provides a study of both discrete-event and time bucket simulation used for supplychain management and proposes case studies to illustrate the pivotal role thatsimulation can play as a technique to aid decisions.If we now consider the other category of production management models that wecall in section “starting time models” (scheduling, etc.) we can state that:– “time bucket-driven discrete-event simulation models” do not use the same“object states” as “starting time production management models” (which use the“start time of an activity”);– between two periods the bucket-driven activity simulation model does notrepresent the state of the system. Thus, the start time of an activity is not known andcannot be used as data in a “starting time” scheduling model. The only way to obtaina good approximation of this date is to use a very small time period. However, this isoften not possible because this will contradict the fundamental hypothesis for thiskind of model: the production duration for an item on a production resource is muchless than the time bucket of the model. Event-driven approachIn this section the main characteristics of the discrete-event models for an SCMsimulation using an event-driven approach are presented. Remember that thisapproach is intensively used for job shop simulation. Thus, it can be considered asconvenient to use this type of model for supply chain simulation.However, using the specific characteristics of supply chain managementsimulation (see sections and can lead to some difficulties for thistype of simulation. The main difficulty comes from the size of the model induced bythis context. It can be inefficient to model the circulation of each individual part ineach production resource of the different companies of the supply chain: the numberof events can become prohibitive and considerably slow down the simulation whichcan become unworkable. This is why it is often necessary to use model reductiontechniques introduced here in section 1.5.2. We recall hereafter the maincharacteristics of this approach. Event-driven approach for discrete-event simulationIn an event-driven discrete-event model:– the main states are the states of items (or set of items);– the simulation must determin

Supply chain management Supply chain processes: the integrated supply chain point of view To describe supply chains from a process point of view, we refer to the supply chain operations reference (SCOR) model. SCOR is a cross-industry standard for supply chain management and has been developed and endorsed by the supply-chain council .

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