A simulation conceptual modelling procedure for SCM applications

Miles Weaver, Pavel Albores, Doug Love

Research output: Preprint or Working paperWorking paper


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline a seven-phase simulation conceptual modelling procedure that incorporates existing practice and embeds a process reference model (i.e. SCOR).
Design/methodology/approach – An extensive review of the simulation and SCM literature identifies a set of requirements for a domain-specific conceptual modelling procedure. The associated design issues for each requirement are discussed and the utility of SCOR in the process of conceptual modelling is demonstrated using two development cases. Ten key concepts are synthesised and aligned to a general process for conceptual modelling. Further work is outlined to detail, refine and test the procedure with different process reference models in different industrial contexts.
Findings - Simulation conceptual modelling is often regarded as the most important yet least understood aspect of a simulation project (Robinson, 2008a). Even today, there has been little research development into guidelines to aid in the creation of a conceptual model. Design issues are discussed for building an ‘effective’ conceptual model and the domain-specific requirements for modelling supply chains are addressed. The ten key concepts are incorporated to aid in describing the supply chain problem (i.e. components and relationships that need to be included in the model), model content (i.e. rules for determining the simplest model boundary and level of detail to implement the model) and model validation.
Originality/value – Paper addresses Robinson (2008a) call for research in defining and developing new approaches for conceptual modelling and Manuj et al., (2009) discussion on improving the rigour of simulation studies in SCM. It is expected that more detailed guidelines will yield benefits to both expert (i.e. avert typical modelling failures) and novice modellers (i.e. guided practice; less reliance on hopeful intuition)
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages38
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2013


  • simulation
  • conceptual modelling
  • supply chain management
  • SCOR model


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