How Can Services Or Servitization Be Modelled And Simulated?

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How Can Services Or Servitization Be Modelled And Simulated?

This special concern aims to present the latest thinking on modelling and simulation beyond traditional functions, supply and developing chain boundaries. The increasing diversity of supply chain structures, the emerging business collaboration models, the increasing degrees of outsourcing, recycling, after advancements and sales in servitization all present problems to the functionality of existing tools and their program.

Significant work has been done on modelling and simulating “simple” service or production systems as well as business processes and supply chains. Such work examines moves of parts, information or products. However, with business models that have emerged from industry and commerce, there are challenges to the functionality of tools and approaches for model building and the knowledge of performance through modelling. Product and Information moves may need to be mixed, the products may never leave the operational system and products may be returned from the field. The growing industry for recycling and remanufacturing, which presents challenges for how to model an operation that has uncertain inputs that require disassembling and possibly reassembly.

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For example, the EU’s directive for end-of-life vehicles presents difficulties to model functions which have to meet goals on reuse, recovery and recycling. Servitization, such as product service systems, where the manufactured product is part of a ongoing service offering. Regarding Rolls-Royce’s “power by the hour” approach, the produced product is owned throughout by the manufacturer to provide a ongoing service to the airline. Another example is the approach operated by Xerox for the supply and procedure of photocopiers/digital printers. Additionally, integrated product health management systems may monitor the merchandise in service and sensors provide signals to the supply chain a product needs maintenance, overhaul or repair.

Increased levels of outsourcing amongst companies, resulting in prolonged but coupled supply chains firmly. The flow of product and information is more complex than in-house functions potentially. Papers can include either theoretical or empirical research. Just how do we use simulation modelling and analysis techniques beyond “traditional” manufacturing and supply chains? How can servitization or services be modelled and simulated?

Can “product service systems” be modelled to understand variations between “traditional” supply chains and service-led supply chains? What exactly are the challenges to modelling collaborations between companies? How can data from the field or market be included into business models and simulations? How do planning and control systems be included in models that stretch beyond “simple” operational boundaries?

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