A novel network simulation software for supply chain management courses

Yung-Chia Chang, Kuei Hu Chang*, Mei Te Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Supply chain management courses require more content that focuses on real practice and applications to increase students' interest in learning. A simulation software is an effective method that simulates a virtual environment to allow students to apply and comprehend the knowledge they have learned from lectures. Recently, Chang, Chen, Yang, and Chao (2009) developed a simulation of a production and logistics environment (referred to as SIMPLE hereafter) software as a teaching aid which has been adapted in different courses teaching productions and logistics. However, in SIMPLE, only a linear supply chain model can be constructed, which means that only one affiliate in each echelon. Therefore, SIMPLE cannot be applied when teaching material related to supply chain network design. In order to encourage students to explore the knowledge of supply chain design without actually managing a real supply chain, this study constructed simulation software to allow students design their own supply networks to meet customers' demand and to compare the performance resulted from different supply chain networks. The functions of this software include adjustable facility selection for different members of supply chains, each of which can be associated with different inventory replenishment policy and transportation arrangement. The network constructed is displayed graphically and can also be saved for reuse. This software can set varied scenarios for lecturing or can be used as a mean for students to compete with each other by applying their knowledge learned in lectures. After using this software in a graduate-level Supply Chain Management course in a national university in Taiwan, it is found that students were attracted to this game/toy-based learning and were willing to explore related material on their own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-251
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Engineering : Theory Applications and Practice
Volume25
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Game/toy-based learning
  • Network simulation software
  • Supply chain network
  • Teaching aid

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