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Using Simulation Software to improve Supply Chains


May 28th, 2016 by Dr Michael S Fletcher and Professor Geoffrey Baring

In an ever increasing and interconnected, globalized world, skills in logistics and supply chain management are crucial to a companies continued competitiveness. Logistics is the key that unlocks the Supply Chain Management door to enable companies to meet their objectives with ongoing facility operating, product procurement, tight transportation schedules and delivery method costs. Four of the most common offenders of smooth supply chain management are time, cost, efficiency and effectiveness.

Problems with supply chains are often found to be the very elements that are critical to the healthiness of a supply chain. When the impact of any four of these areas is not understood or not properly integrated into supply chain operation risk, the result can be devastating. One of the reasons for this is that logistics and supply chain managers tend to look at the connected elements in isolation, adopting an attitude of (this is my job and that’s all I need to do) missing important SCM follow on procedures in the process.
To get around these problems we have partnered with a company in the US and been involved in the development of creating training SCM software modelling simulation systems that focus on planning and creating a model that allows logistics and supply chain personnel to identify the key elements necessary to create a platform to run a real-time computer simulation of an existing or newly created supply chain. This allows logistics, supply chain people real time opportunities to see and analyze the four most critical elements of a supply chain in action. As with every day supply chains, problems will emerge almost immediately, guiding logistic and supply people to better understand the issues, which will in turn assist them in creating better scenarios based on the recently made improvements/changes to the supply chain model.

Once the supply chain is re-simulated in real time, logistics, supply chain people can further identify any additional breakdowns and be guided by the SCM simulation software to make the right changes/solutions that will improve the supply chain and integrate all the processes that lead to further optimization and better solutions, thus making the supply chain even more lean and able to perform to the companies expectations.
In a nut-shell, the type of hands on, face-to-face training we provide will supply attendees with the tools required to carry out unique SCM simulation approaches that allow them to correct areas where bottlenecks and/or breakdowns occur, resulting in time, cost, efficiency and effectiveness. World leading companies know that, left unchecked, any four of the above-mentioned factors could cost them loss of revenue and damage to reputation.

Conclusion

Simulations can provide people with realistic fail-safe environments where they can use a process of deliberate practice to develop new problem solving techniques. The same skills people develop in simulated environments can then be applied in the real world, and be the driving force that turns companies into world class operators.

Satisfactory completion of the program will lead to participants being dually awarded the IABFM Certified International Supply Chain Professional (CiSP) as well as the Associate Certificate in Supply Chain Modelling.

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