A Simulation Exercise to Illustrate the Impact of an Enterprise System on a Service Supply Chain

Past-cast Series — Seeing relevance in earlier publications

Ritchie-Dunham, James L., Douglas J. Morrice, Edward G. Anderson, Jr., and James S. Dyer. 2007. A Simulation Exercise to Illustrate the Impact of an Enterprise System on a Service Supply Chain, INFORMS Transactions on Education, 7(3).

In this paper, we present a computer-based simulation exercise designed to help students understand the impact of an enterprise system on business performance in a service supply chain. The particular service supply chain simulated in the exercise is a wireless telecommunications firm.  In this exercise, students perform simulations to experience managing the supply chain of the telecommunications firm with and without an enterprise system. The simulator tracks their business performance. Then the results are used as the basis of discussion in a subsequent debriefing session. We describe the educational goals of the simulation exercise and how the exercise can be structured in order to achieve these goals.  The latter is illustrated by the use of the simulation exercise in a master’s level supply chain management course in the Red McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. The simulator includes realistic details. In fact, it is based on the extensive consulting experiences of the first author with two North American telecommunications firms. We describe the simulator in detail under the various scenarios, explain how it was validated, and provide the simulator equations in system dynamics format in Appendix B.

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