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Using simulation to evaluate a blood supply network in the Canadian maritime provinces

Using simulation to evaluate a blood supply network in the Canadian maritime provinces Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact on customer service of amalgamating two production/distribution facilities in a blood distribution network, located in the Maritime region of Canada, into a single production facility and a satellite distribution facility. Design/methodology/approach – Simulation models of the existing distribution network and the future distribution network were built. Experiments were conducted, using the two models, to compare the performance of each. Findings – Results indicate that there is no evidence to suggest a decrease in customer service resulting from the consolidation of the two facilities. Furthermore, results indicate that this conclusion is robust with respect to lower inventory levels at the satellite and up to three road closures per annum. Research limitations/implications – The results are based on specific operational assumptions regarding the number of hospitals supplied by the satellite facility and the methods used to transport blood products between locations. Social implications – The results of this study have important implications for how vital blood products are distributed to patients in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Originality/value – This paper is a case study describing a unique application of simulation methods to an important area of application. It will be of interest to readers interested in the management of blood supply chains and to researchers applying simulation methods. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Enterprise Information Management Emerald Publishing

Using simulation to evaluate a blood supply network in the Canadian maritime provinces

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1741-0398
DOI
10.1108/17410391311289587
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the impact on customer service of amalgamating two production/distribution facilities in a blood distribution network, located in the Maritime region of Canada, into a single production facility and a satellite distribution facility. Design/methodology/approach – Simulation models of the existing distribution network and the future distribution network were built. Experiments were conducted, using the two models, to compare the performance of each. Findings – Results indicate that there is no evidence to suggest a decrease in customer service resulting from the consolidation of the two facilities. Furthermore, results indicate that this conclusion is robust with respect to lower inventory levels at the satellite and up to three road closures per annum. Research limitations/implications – The results are based on specific operational assumptions regarding the number of hospitals supplied by the satellite facility and the methods used to transport blood products between locations. Social implications – The results of this study have important implications for how vital blood products are distributed to patients in the Maritime provinces of Canada. Originality/value – This paper is a case study describing a unique application of simulation methods to an important area of application. It will be of interest to readers interested in the management of blood supply chains and to researchers applying simulation methods.

Journal

Journal of Enterprise Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 8, 2013

Keywords: Canada; Modelling; Simulation; Blood; Supply chain management; Blood supply chain; Facilities location; Logistics; Simulation modelling

References

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