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On complex adaptive systems and agent-based modelling for improving decision-making in manufacturing and logistics settings: Experiences from a packaging company

Nilsson, Fredrik LU and Darley, Vince (2006) In International Journal of Operations & Production Management 26(12). p.1351-1373
Abstract
Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the tactical and operational decision making of

manufacturing and logistics operations by providing novel insights into modelling and simulation,

based on complex adaptive systems (CAS).

Design/methodology/approach – The research approach is theoretically based on CAS with

agent-based modelling (ABM) as the implementation method. A case study is presented where an

agent-based model has contributed to increased understanding and precision in decision making at a

packaging company in the UK.

Findings – The results suggest that ABM provides decision-makers with robust and accurate

“what-if” scenarios of the dynamic interplay... (More)
Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the tactical and operational decision making of

manufacturing and logistics operations by providing novel insights into modelling and simulation,

based on complex adaptive systems (CAS).

Design/methodology/approach – The research approach is theoretically based on CAS with

agent-based modelling (ABM) as the implementation method. A case study is presented where an

agent-based model has contributed to increased understanding and precision in decision making at a

packaging company in the UK.

Findings – The results suggest that ABM provides decision-makers with robust and accurate

“what-if” scenarios of the dynamic interplay among several business functions. These scenarios can

guide managers in the process of moving from policy space to performance space, i.e. concerning

priorities of improvement efforts and choices of production/manufacturing policies, warehouse

policies, customer service policies and logistics policies. Furthermore, it is found that ABM can include

and pay attention to several aspects of CAS and thus provide understanding of, and explanation for,

the patterns and effects which emerge in manufacturing and logistics settings.

Practical implications – Aided by agent-based models and simulations, practitioners’ levels of

intuition can be enhanced since patterns on the macro level emerge from agents’ interactive behaviour.

Together with insights from CAS these emergent patterns can be explained and understood, and are

thus beneficial for the improvement of decision making in companies.

Originality/value – The case presented distinguishes this paper from what has been written in

previous articles on the application of ABM, since such articles have not produced any empirically

verified results after implementation of ABM. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Decision making, Modelling, Manufacturing systems, Simulation, Logistics data processing, packaging, Adaptive system theory, packaging logistics
in
International Journal of Operations & Production Management
volume
26
issue
12
pages
1351 - 1373
publisher
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
external identifiers
  • wos:000241963300011
  • scopus:33749407387
ISSN
0144-3577
DOI
10.1108/01443570610710588
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
3cc14b00-9973-4625-8e44-24dba2058e80 (old id 167150)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 12:22:42
date last changed
2020-12-22 04:06:27
@article{3cc14b00-9973-4625-8e44-24dba2058e80,
  abstract     = {Purpose – This paper aims to contribute to the tactical and operational decision making of<br/><br>
manufacturing and logistics operations by providing novel insights into modelling and simulation,<br/><br>
based on complex adaptive systems (CAS).<br/><br>
Design/methodology/approach – The research approach is theoretically based on CAS with<br/><br>
agent-based modelling (ABM) as the implementation method. A case study is presented where an<br/><br>
agent-based model has contributed to increased understanding and precision in decision making at a<br/><br>
packaging company in the UK.<br/><br>
Findings – The results suggest that ABM provides decision-makers with robust and accurate<br/><br>
“what-if” scenarios of the dynamic interplay among several business functions. These scenarios can<br/><br>
guide managers in the process of moving from policy space to performance space, i.e. concerning<br/><br>
priorities of improvement efforts and choices of production/manufacturing policies, warehouse<br/><br>
policies, customer service policies and logistics policies. Furthermore, it is found that ABM can include<br/><br>
and pay attention to several aspects of CAS and thus provide understanding of, and explanation for,<br/><br>
the patterns and effects which emerge in manufacturing and logistics settings.<br/><br>
Practical implications – Aided by agent-based models and simulations, practitioners’ levels of<br/><br>
intuition can be enhanced since patterns on the macro level emerge from agents’ interactive behaviour.<br/><br>
Together with insights from CAS these emergent patterns can be explained and understood, and are<br/><br>
thus beneficial for the improvement of decision making in companies.<br/><br>
Originality/value – The case presented distinguishes this paper from what has been written in<br/><br>
previous articles on the application of ABM, since such articles have not produced any empirically<br/><br>
verified results after implementation of ABM.},
  author       = {Nilsson, Fredrik and Darley, Vince},
  issn         = {0144-3577},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {12},
  pages        = {1351--1373},
  publisher    = {Emerald Group Publishing Limited},
  series       = {International Journal of Operations & Production Management},
  title        = {On complex adaptive systems and agent-based modelling for improving decision-making in manufacturing and logistics settings: Experiences from a packaging company},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/2898616/2540374.pdf},
  doi          = {10.1108/01443570610710588},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2006},
}