A supply network-modelling system for a small- to medium-sized manufacturing company

Stephen Smith, D. Petty, D. Trustrum, Ashraf Labib, Ali Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the late 1990s and early 2000s, the profile of global manufacturing has experienced many changes. There is anecdotal evidence that many western manufacturing companies have chosen to expand their manufacturing base across geographical boundaries. The common reasons sited for these ventures are to exploit less expensive labour markets, to establish a presence in expanding markets and in response to the threat of new competition. Whilst a global manufacturing base can prove to have many cost and sales benefits, there are also many disadvantages. Logistics operations can often increase in complexity leading to higher reliance on planning and effective interpretation of demand data. In response, systems modelling has remerged as a fertile research area after many years. Many modelling and simulation techniques have been developed, but these have had very limited practical success. The authors have identified that majority of these simulation techniques rely upon a detailed market structure being known, when this is rarely the case. This paper describes the outcome of a research project to develop of a pragmatic set of tools to gather, assess and verify supply chain structure data. A hybrid collection of technologies are utilised to assist these operations and to build a dynamic supply network model.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-584
Number of pages6
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


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