Improving agility of supply chains using base stock model and computer based simulations Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to deal with the application of the stochastic inventory model to the threetier supply chain and verify the values obtained by mathematical model in physical simulation.Design/methodology/approachThe paper investigates threestage serial supply chain with stochastic demand and fixed replenishment leadtime. Inventory holding costs are charged at each stage, and each stage may incur a consumer backorder penalty cost charged by primary supplier to secondary supplier. The customerdemand follows Poisson distribution. The base stock model is implemented for inventory control at both suppliers. Physical simulation is then designed in such a way that it satisfies all the assumptions for mathematical model. Simulation is run to verify the values obtained from mathematical model.FindingsComputer simulation is designed to include all the assumptions made by mathematical model. Hence, mathematical base stock model and computer simulation model are comparable. Demand follows Poisson distribution in both cases. The backorder cost and inventory holding cost are calculated in each phase of simulation and summarized. The paper infers that the total inventory cost is optimum in phase II, in which reorder point is same as that calculated by mathematical model. In phase I, total inventory cost is more than that of phase II because of backorders. In phase III, excess inventory increased the total cost. Thus, the values obtained from mathematical model produce optimal inventory cost. Base stock model is effective when the demand is not deterministic and service factor assumed in mathematical model is 0.9, which is quite acceptable. Base stock model assumes replenishment order quantity as 1 and the total inventory cost decreases with replenishment lead time. Base stock model is beneficial for supply chains having short replenishment lead time. Computer simulation results indicate that discrete event simulations can be used to model stochastic systems like organizational supply chains and to validate the results from mathematical models.Originality/valueThe paper offers a review of simulation work aiming to support improvement of agility in the supply chain.

published proceedings

  • International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management

author list (cited authors)

  • Verma, A. K.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Verma, Alok K

editor list (cited editors)

  • van Hoek, R. I.

publication date

  • January 2006