• Dual sourcing and smoothing under non-stationary demand time series: Re-shoring with speedfactories

      Boute, Robert; Disney, Stephen M.; Van Mieghem, Jan A. (20192019)
      We investigate the emerging trend of near-shoring a small part of the global production to local SpeedFactories. The short lead time of the responsive SpeedFactory reduces the risk of making large volumes in advance, yet it does not involve a complete re-shoring of demand. Using a break-even analysis we investigate the lead time, demand, and cost characteristics that make dual sourcing with a SpeedFactory desirable compared to complete off-shoring. We propose order rules that extend the celebrated inventory optimal order-up-to replenishment policy to settings where capacity costs exist and demonstrate their excellent performance. We highlight the significant impact of autocorrelated and non-stationary demand series, which are prevalent in practice yet challenging to analyze, on the economic benefit of re-shoring. Methodologically, we adopt Z-transforms and present exact analyses of several discrete-time linear production-inventory models.
    • Exploring the bullwhip effect by means of spreadsheet simulation

      Boute, Robert (2007)
      An important supply chain research problem is the bullwhip effect: demand fluctuations increase as one moves up the supply chain from retailer to manufacturer. It has been recognized that demand forecasting and ordering policies are two of the key causes of the bullwhip effect. In this paper we present a spreadsheet application, which explores a series of replenishment policies and forecasting techniques under different demand patterns. It illustrates how tuning the parameters of the replenishment policy induces or reduces the bullwhip effect. Moreover, we demonstrate how bullwhip reduction (order variability dampening) may have an adverse impact on inventory holdings. Indeed, order smoothing may increase inventory fluctuations resulting in poorer customer service. As such, the spreadsheets can be used as an educational tool to gain a clear insight into the use or abuse of inventory control policies and improper forecasting in relation to the bullwhip effect and customer service. Keywords: Bullwhip effect, forecasting techniques, replenishment rules, inventory fluctuations, spreadsheet simulation
    • Running your company the smart way. How industry 4.0 will change the way you do business

      Boute, Robert; Isik, Öykü; Kleer, Robin; Muylle, Steve; Vanderheyden, Karlien; Vereecke, Ann (20192019)
      Everyone is talking about Industry 4.0 – from the Internet of Things, additive manufacturing and the cloud through to artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain. But what does it all mean in practice? It’s not a question of if Industry 4.0 will drastically change the way we do business. It’s a question of when and how quickly. So how can you apply this technology in your business – not just to improve production and performance, but to make a difference for customers? This white paper gives you the insight you need to get ahead of the game and prepare your organisation for the fourth industrial revolution.