Simulation in Supply Chain and Logistics

Simulation in Supply Chain and Logistics

About the course:

The training course focuses on how to apply simulation model to design and improve supply chain performances and efficiency. Simulation modeling can provide a test platform for business strategies and plans, especially within the uncertain and dynamic business environment, without the necessity to implement expensive and time-consuming live tests. Applications include supply chain network design, demand planning, production capacity planning, inventory planning, transportation modeling and warehouse operations.

Course aims and learning outcomes:

In today’s global market, managing the entire supply chain becomes a key factor for the successful business. However the increasing of complexity, dynamic and uncertainty in businesses make it more difficult to make a proper decision than ever before. The main purpose of this training course is to provide the trainees with the basic and advanced knowledge in simulation and how to apply it to the real business environment. The real business cases will be used to ensure that the trainees will be able to conduct simulation experiments for real business applications at the end of the course. The specific learning objectives are as follows:

  • Trainees should understand the main concepts of simulation modeling and how the simulation models can be used to deal with dynamic and uncertain systems.
  • Trainees should understand the structure of supply chain, each of its components and their relationship such as suppliers, customers, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing and so on. More importantly, trainees should understand the dynamic and uncertainty in the supply chain and how they could affect the performance of supply chain.
  • Trainees should be able to conduct simulation models for real-world business cases in dynamic and uncertain environment, to apply the developed simulation models to test business plans and strategies and, finally, to analyze the simulation outputs in order to make proper business decision.


Format and procedures:

The training course will be composed of 8 training days (48 hours) with the series of lectures and simulation laboratories. MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents software will be used as the main simulation software during the training. The real-world business cases and its simulation practices will be provided along the course. The tentative schedule is as follows:

No. Duration Topics Details
1 6 hours – Introduction to supply chain– Introduction to simulation – Structure and components on supply chain– Dynamic and uncertainty in supply chain and their impacts on supply chain performances

– Basic concept of simulation e.g. randomness and random variables, probability theory, probability distribution

– Basic concept of simulation and various types of simulation e.g. discrete-event, process oriented and object-based simulation

2 6 hours – Basic concepts of simulation– Introduction to MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents – Introduction of discrete-event simulation– Main component of simulation: entities, attributes, global and local variables, resources and queues, statistical accumulators, events and simulations clock

– Introduction of MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents via simulation laboratory

3 6 hours – Building basic simulation models – Learn how to use MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents to develop basic simulation models and conduct simple experiments– Series of examples for building some basic simulation models via MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents
4 6 hours – Statistical analysis in simulation – Input analysis– Output analysis

– Terminating and steady-state simulation analysis

– Variance reduction techniques

5 6 hours – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world business cases – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world warehouse– Improving warehouse performance using the developed simulation
6 6 hours – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world business cases – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world inventory system– Improving performance of inventory system using the developed simulation
7 6 hours – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world business cases – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world distribution network– Improving performance of distribution network using the developed simulation
8 6 hours – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world business cases – Building and analyzing simulation for real-world supply chain system– Improving performance of supply chain system using the developed simulation



  1. Ross S. M. (2012), “Simulation”, Academic Press.
  2. Perros H. (2009), “Computer Simulation Techniques: The definitive introduction”, Computer Science Department, North Carolina State University, US.
  3. Chang, Y., & Makatsoris, H. (2001). Supply chain modeling using simulation. International Journal of simulation, 2(1), 24-30.
  4. Simchi-Levi D., Simchi-Levi E. and Kaminsky P. (2007), “Designing and Managing the Supply Chain: Concepts, Strategies and Case Studies” McGraw- Hill International Edition.
  5. MATLAB: Simulink and SimEvents


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