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Designing supply chains resilient to nonlinear system dynamics

By Virginia L. M. Spiegler


Purpose: To propose an analytical framework for the design of supply chains that are resilient to nonlinear system dynamics. For this purpose, it is necessary to establish clearly elucidated performance criteria that encapsulate the attributes of resilience. Moreover, by reviewing the literature in nonlinear control engineering, this work provides a systematic procedure for the analysis of the impact of nonlinear control structures on systems behaviour. Design/method/approach: The Forrester and APIOBPCS models are used as benchmark supply chain systems. Simpli�cation and nonlinear control theory techniques, such as low order modelling, small perturbation theory and describing functions, are applied for the mathematical analysis of the models. System dynamics simulations are also undertaken for cross-checking results and experimentation. Findings: Optimum solutions for resilience yield increased production on-costs. Inventory redundancy has been identi�ed as a resilience building strategy but there is a maximum resilience level that can be achieved. A methodological contribution has also been provided. By using nonlinear control theory more accurate linear approximations were found for reproducing nonlinear models, enhancing the understanding of the system dynamics and actual transient responses. Research limitations/implications: This research is limited to the dynamics of single-echelon supply chain systems and focus has been given on the analysis of individual nonlinearities. Practical Implications: Since that the resilience performance trades-o� with production, inventory and transportation on-costs, companies may consider to adjust the control parameters to the resilience `mode' only when needed. Moreover, if companies want to invest in additional capacity in order to become more resilient, manufacturing processes should be prioritised. Originality/value: This research developed a framework to quantitatively assess supply chain resilience. Moreover, due consideration of capacity constraint has been given by conducting in-depth analyses of systems nonlinearities

Topics: HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:
Provided by: ORCA
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