Today we have a look at current research regarding the improvement of resilience within a supply chain.
In their 2012 paper “Supply chain redesign for resilience using simulation” Carvalho et al. analyze supply chain resilience on the basis off a Portuguese automotive parts manufacturer.
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.
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.
If you think about it. Postponement is one of the more involving strategies available in supply chain management. At least from a design perspective, postponement requires changes to the value-generation process, which may comprise several echelons within the supply chain.
The paper I review today analyzed the implementation of postponement strategies in China and suggests factors to help with the decision which kind of postponement to select.
Efficiency is about trade-offs. Effectiveness is about achieving a goal, making it happen no matter what.
But in reality resources are scarce and efficiently reaching a goal is nearly as important as reaching it at all.
Supply chain design and optimization has been covered in this blog to a great extend. The concept of design implicitly assumes that there is at least one designer, who decides how the desired “optimal” supply chain design should look like.
Defining a supply chain as a group of legally independent companies, shows that the complexity in this decision process might be drastically increased, since one has to include multiple players and their goals in the process.