• Students will learn to develop models of supply chains under different modelling assumptions;
• Students will understand the implications of alternative modelling assumptions;
• Students will be able to mathematically analyze supply chains under specific structural assumptions (serial, convergent, divergent);
• Students get an appreciation of the open questions regarding optimal strategies for multi-item multi-echelon inventory systems.
The course starts with a description of supply chains as multi-item multi-echelon inventory systems. We discuss relevant performance characteristics and objective functions. We provide an overview of the most important results to date, thereby providing insight into optimal policy structures, relations between state variables at different echelons in the system and numerical methods to find optimal policies.
It is generally accepted that optimal policies for divergent and general multi-item multi-echelon systems are intractable due to the curses of dimensionality. This has led to the development of heuristics, i.e. non-optimal policies. The students should be aware that such non-optimal policies come in large variety based on many different analytical methods. Due to the structural complexity of real-world multi-item multi-echelon systems, the derivation of optimal parameters of the policies discussed during the course is a mathematical challenge by itself. We also pay attention to specific classes of approximation methods that have shown to deliver accurate results.
|Lecture 1||Defining multi-item multi-echelon inventory systems
Optimal policies for single-item single-echelon systems
Optimal policies for serial systems
|Lecture 2||Optimal policies for convergent systems
Optimal policies for divergent systems
Qualitative insights into optimal policies
|Lecture 3||Synchronized base stock policies for general multi-item multi-echelon systems
Numerical methods for solving optimality equations
|Lecture 4||Guaranteed service models for multi-item multi-echelon systems
Rolling schedule models for multi-item multi-echelon systems
The course material consists of a reader containing the papers discussed and lecture notes.