If people talk about disruptions and network effects within the supply chain, the associations are most often negative.
The picture of an automotive/just-in-time supply chain comes to mind, where a small screw from a distant supplier did not get delivered in time and all production processes within the whole network suddenly come to an involuntary halt.
But on the other hand there are companies profiting from these smaller and larger disruptions: competition.
One basic assumption in risk-aware supply chain design is the notion that the design of the supply chain actually has an impact on the vulnerability of the supply chain.
This question has been analyzed about six years ago in a broad empirical study by Wagner and Bode.
The authors use a rather large sample of companies in Germany. Overall nearly 5000 supply chain professionals were asked to participate and 760 actually took part in the study.
Agent-based supply chain models are build using small entities (agents), which might represent a single company.
Each of the agents has its own goals and rules of operation programmed into a computer. The interaction between several agents of this kind leads to a more realistic and complex behavior of the system.
At this year’s HICL conference in Hamburg, I was able to present some of my own research. In the follow-up discussions several points were highlighted, especially focussing on the viability of supply chain wide cooperation and collaboration efforts and on the difficulties of doing a realistic quantification of supply chain risks.
I am often astounded by the fact how many great articles I haven’t read yet. A good scientific paper contains an comprehensive description of the methodologies used, a theoretical foundation and literature review from which hypothesis are drawn, which are then confirmed or rejected in the course of the paper. And of course, it is always a plus to actually find some results in the course of the analysis.