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A design engineering model for supply chain configurations

Master student Lu Wang , from the University of Twente, has finished her research project focusing on investigating key-performance indicators for supply chain management and their respective analysis tools. The results of this research froms the starting bases for the development of a decision making tool for supporting supply chain confirmations. The importance of this lies on the fact that a growing emphasis on globalization and specialization has highlighted the need of effective and efficient supply chain network configurations for companies to win the competitive edge. It is also challenging to make the right decisions concerning configuring such supply chain networks. With the aim of enabling decision makers to make comparative assessments among multiple supply chain network design solutions with less efforts, this work has resulted in a model integrating supply chain network design for a synthesis tool. Here, both the strategic structuring of supply chain networks and tactical decisions concerning production, inventory and transportation are addressed. The multi-echelon supply chain network with multiple products over multiple planning periods is regarded as the design embodiment. Analysis methods for five key performance indicators, namely total costs, average delivery time, customer demand satisfaction, flexibility and robustness are developed so as to evaluate the embodiment under certain scenarios. Moreover, uncertainty is proposed to represent the dynamic feature of the external environment where supply chain networks are situated. The model is then implemented in C#. Results of numerical examples are tested and analyzed.

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