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ItemDeveloping a Decision Support System for Integrated Decision-Making in Purchasing and Scheduling under Lead Time Uncertainty( 2022-01-04)Decision-making in supply chain management is complex because of the relations between planning tasks from different stages and planning levels. Uncertainties such as unpredictable supplier lead times and supply chain disruptions further complicate decision-making. Considering the case study of a company in printed circuit board assembly, a three-level concept is proposed that includes a decision support system. The global single-source supply network is characterized by highly variable lead times. Hence, the company maintains high inventory levels to prevent running out of stock. The decision support system considers the purchasing and scheduling decision problems in an integrated way. The prototypical implementation of the purchasing algorithm uses a genetic algorithm that recommends reorder days and order quantities using a simulation model. In addition, it evaluates the risks of the recommended solution by calculating the probability of stockouts for each order cycle.
ItemDeep Reinforcement Learning for Supply Chain Synchronization( 2022-01-04)Supply chain synchronization can prevent the “bullwhip effect” and significantly mitigate ripple effects caused by operational failures. This paper demonstrates how deep reinforcement learning agents based on the proximal policy optimization algorithm can synchronize inbound and outbound flows if end-toend visibility is provided. The paper concludes that the proposed solution has the potential to perform adaptive control in complex supply chains. Furthermore, the proposed approach is general, task unspecific, and adaptive in the sense that prior knowledge about the system is not required.