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Supporting Strategic Decisions for Operational Changes through the use of Discrete Event Simulation: A Case Study in Production Scheduling at AstraZeneca
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In recent years, market competitiveness exerts more pressure on process industries to increase their number of products, reduce order sizes and shorten delivery lead time. This causes an expansion of order enquiries from customers, which leads to an insufficient use of scheduling and planning systems to meet these changes. This force process industries to adopt other tools, such as Discrete Event Simulation for supporting their strategic decisions to align with these operational changes.

 

The objective of this thesis is to understand how Discrete Event Simulation supports strategic decisions prior to the implementation of operational changes in process industries. Therefore, a case study in the pharmaceutical industry was conducted at AstraZeneca, Södertälje. Discrete Event Simulation was used as a tool to support the strategic decision of implementing the Product Wheel technique as an operational change. Simultaneously, a theoretical review was carried out to investigate types of strategic decisions which can be supported by Discrete Event Simulation use in process industries. Then, contributions and challenges of Discrete Event Simulation use for supporting strategic decisions for operational changes were clarified. 

 

The empirical results indicate the importance of Discrete Event Simulation in supporting deliverability as a competitive priority to AstraZeneca, followed by flexibility and cost as second and third competitive priorities. The analysis also identified the contribution of Discrete Event Simulation in supporting long-term decisions in the company by providing analytical solutions in different scenarios, dynamic visualization and increased knowledge about the simulated operational change. Additionally, two main challenges in the use of Discrete Event Simulation for supporting strategic decision are identified. First, Discrete Event Simulation was not suitable for supporting all kinds of competitive priorities such as quality, environment and innovation. Second, the direction of the communication between the Discrete Event Simulation use and the strategic decisions differs.   

 

A framework is developed to facilitate the use of Discrete Event Simulation for supporting strategic decisions prior to implementing the Product Wheel technique as an operational change. This framework provides a guideline to identify the range of contributions from Discrete Event Simulation use for supporting different types of competitive priorities prior to the implementation of the Product Wheel method. Generally, Discrete Event Simulation could be a useful tool for supporting deliverability, cost and flexibility by implementing the Product Wheel technique, while it has a limited capability when dealing with other strategic decisions such as quality, innovation and environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , 84 p.
National Category
Transport Systems and Logistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-35569OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-35569DiVA: diva2:1105774
External cooperation
AstraZeneca
Subject / course
Product and Process Development
Presentation
2017-06-01, U- 208, Eskilstuna, 08:30 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-09 Created: 2017-06-05 Last updated: 2017-06-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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