Advances in Decision Sciences
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 589254, 19 pages
Research Article

Design of an Integrated Methodology for Analytical Design of Complex Supply Chains

1Manufacturing Systems Integration (MSI) Research Institute, Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
2Department of Engineering Management, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), H-12 Islamabad, Pakistan

Received 5 February 2012; Accepted 2 May 2012

Academic Editor: Bernard Grabot

Copyright © 2012 Shahid Rashid and Richard Weston. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A literature review and gap analysis indentifies key limitations of industry best practice when modelling of supply chains. To address these limitations the paper reports on the conception and development of an integrated modelling methodology designed to underpin the analytical design of complex supply chains. The methodology is based upon a systematic deployment of EM, CLD, and SM techniques; the integration of which is achieved via common modelling concepts and decomposition principles. Thereby the methodology facilitates: (i) graphical representation and description of key “processing”, “resourcing” and “work flow” properties of supply chain configurations; (ii) behavioural exploration of currently configured supply chains, to facilitate reasoning about uncertain demand impacts on supply, make, delivery, and return processes; (iii) predictive quantification about relative performances of alternative complex supply chain configurations, including risk assessments. Guidelines for the application of each step of the methodology are described. Also described are recommended data collection methods and expected modelling outcomes for each step. The methodology is being extensively case tested to quantify potential benefits & costs relative to current best industry practice. The paper reflects on preliminary benefits gained during industry based case study modelling and identifies areas of potential improvement.