Course Title: Practical Supply Chain Modelling

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Practical Supply Chain Modelling

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


630H Management


Sem 1 2009

Course Coordinator: Dr. Charles Lau

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 5910

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 108.16.79

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

There is no pre-requisite for this course, but some knowledge and experience in computer programming will be an advantage.
It is preferred that you have studied the following:
ISYS2056 Business Computing,
ECON1030 Business Statistics, and/or
ISYS2067 Business Solutions Using Spreadsheet Models.

Course Description

Computers can be used for a multitude of tasks, but one of the most useful functions involves software that can perform simulation and modelling tasks. These applications are at the leading edge of information technology allowing users to gain valuable knowledge about a wide variety of processes, events and future process performance. In logistics where facility and process development often involve significant capital and time investment the use of modelling and simulation tools can confirm the viability of plans and facility design and avoid costly redesign requirements resulting from flawed planning.
Business modelling software give organisations the tools to make decisions based on an examination of the various options having reviewed the outcomes from the options and viewed the actual processes involved. It must be remembered that modelling involves uncertainty and it is only possible to model a limited number of scenarios. In many instances the lack of accurate process data, or lack of time to capture and enter the data, leads to the use of random number type data and statistical distributions. The results of modelling must be viewed with these provisos in mind.
The course uses a business modelling simulation package called ’Arena’. You will be given an academic copy of the software for use during the course. It is a full copy of the software, but with limited functionality.

If you are undertaking this course in Melbourne from semester 2, 2012 onward your class will be held in a device-equipped teaching space. Each student group will have access to a laptop. It is however recommended that you have access to a mobile computing device to allow greater flexibility in terms of where you can work on campus both in and outside class times.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course focuses on the following capability dimensions:
- Supply Chain Management Practice
- Distribution Practice
- Critical Analysis, Problem Setting and Solving
- Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Teamwork and Leadership SkillsThis course contributes to the development of the following capabilities.
• System analysis and problem identification
• System representation using modelling and simulation
• Statistical analysis of simulation outputs
• Interpretation and presentation of modelling results
At the conclusion of this course you should be able to:
1. be able to apply the concept of averages;
2. be able to apply the common probability distributions;
3. be able to set up a simulation study;
4. be able to set up a flow process model using Arena;
5. be capable of varying the inputs and flows to identify the best process design;
6. be able to verify and validate the results of your models; and
7. be confident in presenting the results of your modelling.

Overview of Learning Activities

The course will be presented by demonstration and discussion of the main principles and methods with student self-learning and laboratory practice.

Overview of Learning Resources

The course has a prescribed textbook and a few recommended textbooks although students are encouraged to use all sources of information such as technical papers available on the Internet.

Overview of Assessment

Assessment will be in two parts. Modelling exercises will develop your skills in system analysis and problem identification, system representation with modelling software, scenario testing with simulation tool, and interpretation/ presentation of results through report writing. The examination will reinforce your understanding of the basic principles and concepts of computer modelling and simulation.