One of the objectives of the Project was to deliver a SIMULINK toolbox to be capable of simulating different supply Chains. We are pleased to inform that a beta version of such a toolbox is available.
The idea of this toolbox was to bridge the gap between forecasting and inventory control, since both areas have evolved separately. I am sure that those familiar with supply Chain have seen many papers from inventory control that starts with something like «assuming that the demand is normal (or whatever another parametric distribution)» and then arrives at an optimized equation to determine stock control design parameters…without a word mentioning that demand is unknown and must be forecast. In the same sense, many Forecasting research Works end with a Forecasting error metric without linking that with the stock control performance, which usually is the main application of such forecasts.
This work presents a supply chain simulation library developed in Simulink to bridge that gap. To simulate a supply chain is important to define the number of companies/echelons that belong to the same supply chain and the policies that each company employs to demand forecasting and stock control. The potential user can find in this library forecasting and stock control blocks to simulate a supply chain in a modular design. We show how to implement: i) Forecasting policies. For example, the widely used exponential smoothing; ii) Replenishment models. For instance, typical order-up-to-level stock control policies as (s,S); and finally, how to connect the forecasting and stock control blocks to describe the performance of a company and to extend such relationships to define the whole supply chain.
This toolbox is intended to be open, so if you think you can contribute, please let us know!
We have also prepared a short document to use the toolbox, the toolbox will be presented in the next workshop about Forecasting and inventory control that will take place in Valencia (July 2017). If you are interested in the toolbox send an e-mail to Juan Ramón Trapero.
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