LINKS Supply Chain Management Fundamentals Simulation 3
Chapters 1/2: Introduction and Perspective
"I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand."
In LINKS, you manage the supply chain of an on-going high-tech manufacturing business withinthe simulated set-top box industry. Working with your teammates, you’re in direct competitionwith other firms in your LINKS simulationindustry.
Your goal is to improve your firm's overall financial, operating, andmarket performance.
In addition to this manual, you may accesssupport resources on the LINKS website:http://www.LINKS-simulations.comSupply chain management addressesfundamental issues of controlling theplanning, sourcing, making, and delivering of manufactured goods. The supply chainencompasses sourcing and procurement,production scheduling, order processing,inventory management, transportation,warehousing, and customer service.If we add the generate demand sub-processto the traditional supply chain sub-processes, the extended supply chain'sscope is impressive indeed. With so muchscope, it's not surprising that managingsupply chains well is a great challenge.The learning objectives implicit in the LINKS simulation include the following:
Gaining exposure to all supply chain elements individually and to their associated interactions
Appreciating the need for balance and managing trade-offs in supply chains
Experiencing competitive dynamics in an evolving marketplace
Appreciating information flows and integration of information with decision making
Enhancing and encouraging fact-based analysis and decision making
Gaining familiarity with financial statements used routinely in for-profit businesses.
"The ability to learn faster than competitors may be the only
true sustainable competitive advantage."
– Arie P. De Geus
LINKS is a supply chain management simulation. LINKS encompasses all major supply chainelements: suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and end-users. Firms in LINKS areresponsible for managing product development, procurement (purchasing/sourcing),manufacturing, distribution and warehousing, transportation, customer service, generate
FYI: Supply Chain Management Definition
Supply chain management coordinatessuppliers, factories, warehouses, distributioncenters, and retail outlets to produce and distribute items to the right customers, at theright time, and at the right price to minimizecosts while satisfying a certain level of service.
Many components are involved — all of which reflect on cost and service level.
The focus is not on a specific cost component such as reducing inventory, but rather on minimizing system-wide cost.
Integration is necessary to reduce cost and increase service levels. Because you havemany different parties with different and conflicting objectives, finding the right strategy that is optimal across the entiresupply chain is a huge challenge.
Source: David Simchi-Levi, quoted in "The Master of Design: An Interview With David Simchi-Levi,"
Supply Chain Management Review
(Nov/Dec 2000), p. 75.