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Title: An adaptive simulation-based decision-making framework for small and medium sized enterprises
Author: Zheng, Xin
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2011
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The rapid development of key mobile technology supporting the ‘Internet of Things’, such as 3G, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and Zigbee etc. and the advanced decision making methods have improved the Decision-Making System (DMS) significantly in the last decade. Advanced wireless technology can provide a real-time data collection to support DMS and the effective decision making techniques based on the real-time data can improve Supply Chain (SC) efficiency. However, it is difficult for Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) to effectively adopt this technology because of the complexity of technology and methods, and the limited resources of SMEs. Consequently, a suitable DMS which can support effective decision making is required in the operation of SMEs in SCs. This thesis conducts research on developing an adaptive simulation-based DMS for SMEs in the manufacturing sector. This research is to help and support SMEs to improve their competitiveness by reducing costs, and reacting responsively, rapidly and effectively to the demands of customers. An adaptive developed framework is able to answer flexible ‘what-if’ questions by finding, optimising and comparing solutions under the different scenarios for supporting SME-managers to make efficient and effective decisions and more customer-driven enterprises. The proposed framework consists of simulation blocks separated by data filter and convert layers. A simulation block may include cell simulators, optimisation blocks, and databases. A cell simulator is able to provide an initial solution under a special scenario. An optimisation block is able to output a group of optimum solutions based on the initial solution for decision makers. A two-phase optimisation algorithm integrated Conflicted Key Points Optimisation (CKPO) and Dispatching Optimisation Algorithm (DOA) is proposed for the condition of Jm|STsi,b with Lot-Streaming (LS). The feature of the integrated optimisation algorithm is demonstrated using a UK-based manufacture case study. Each simulation block is a relatively independent unit separated by the relevant data layers. Thus SMEs are able to design their simulation blocks according to their requirements and constraints, such as small budgets, limited professional staff, etc. A simulation block can communicate to the relative simulation block by the relevant data filter and convert layers and this constructs a communication and information network to support DMSs of Supply Chains (SCs). Two case studies have been conducted to validate the proposed simulation framework. An SME which produces gifts in a SC is adopted to validate the Make To Stock (MTS) production strategy by a developed stock-driven simulation-based DMS. A schedule-driven simulation-based DMS is implemented for a UK-based manufacturing case study using the Make To Order (MTO) production strategy. The two simulation-based DMSs are able to provide various data to support management decision making depending on different scenarios.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: G400 Computer Science