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Developing an enterprise simulator to support electronic supply chain for B2B electronic business

Ball, Peter D. and Tang, Nelson and Benton, Helen and Love, Doug and Albores-Barajas, Pavel A. and MacBryde, Jillian C. and Boughton, Nick and Drake, Paul (2004) Developing an enterprise simulator to support electronic supply chain for B2B electronic business. Production Planning and Control, 15 (6). pp. 572-583. ISSN 0953-7287

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Abstract

The application of any e-Solution promises significant returns. In particular, using internet technologies both within enterprises and across the supply (value) chain provides real opportunity, not only for operational improvement but also for innovative strategic positioning. However, significant questions obscure potential investment; how any value will actually be created and, importantly, how this value will be shared across the value chain is not clear. This paper will describe a programme of research that is developing an enterprise simulator that will provide a more fundamental understanding of the impact of e-Solutions across operational supply chains, in terms of both standard operational and financial measures of performance. An efficient supply chain reduces total costs of operations by sharing accurate real-time information and coordinating inter-organizational business processes. This form of electronic link between organizations is known as business-to-business (B2B) e-Business. The financial measures go beyond simple cost calculations to real bottom-line performance by modelling the financial transactions that business processes generate. The paper will show how this enterprise simulator allows for a complete supply chain to be modelled in this way across four key applications: control system design, virtual enterprises, pan-supply-chain performance metrics and supporting e-Supply-chain design methodology.