Modelling supply chain sustainability : a case study in New Zealand forestry : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Supply Chain Management at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Supply chains play a key role in business nowadays, as they are facilitating about 80% of the world trade. Supply chain operations are making great impacts not only on the economy, but also on the society and the environment through all their activities along the chain. In supply chain management, supply chain network design is the backbone because it determines on a strategic level the quantity, location, capacity, and flows for all supply chain facilities. Businesses have been gradually shifting toward sustainability, but unpredictable happenings like the ongoing global COVID 19 disease are forcing enterprises to adapt more sufficiently to survive and grow. It is recently observed that there are some fundamental changes in a number of supply chain networks when many physical stores are replaced by online shopping websites due to the pandemic. An efficient tool is in real need in supporting the change in supply chain network. In making decision for a supply chain network redesign, several studies have documented that there is still a lack of holistic assessment when most published papers in the field only focused on the economic or environment aspect and very few addressed all three sustainability aspects including the social one, the quantifiable justification to support decision making is still inadequate, and the integrity of the decision making processed is challenged by the possibility of manipulation. On the other hand, some approaches like the Triple Bottom Line, the Discrete Event Simulation and the Multi-criteria Decision Making method are not utilised fully. This study set out to examine a modelling method, which is the combination of Triple Bottom Line, Discrete Event Simulation and Multi-criteria Decision Making, for the sustainability assessment of a supply chain network redesign, to evaluate the influences of the method on the holistic approach, quantifiable justification and integrity of the results. The research was designed as a formal ex post facto longitudinal simulation case study of a forestry supply chain redesign in New Zealand. The principal findings of this study are that the modelling method of Triple Bottom Line, Discrete Event Simulation and Multi-criteria Decision Making could provide a holistic assessment by addressing all three sustainability aspects. The method could demonstrate a quantifiable justification to support decision making by the showing the results in numerical form which could be ranked. The method could also secure the integrity of the decision making processed by the participation of stakeholders. In addition, the findings indicate that the Discrete Event Simulation could also be utilised in strategic decision making, not only in operational and tactical levels as reported by previous research. Therefore, this study should be of value for practitioners wishing to improve their daily supply chain operations, for managers plaining new strategy and investing new supply chain network design, for policy makers considering recommendation and/or requirement in assessment of publicly funded projects.
Permission was obtained for the re-use of Figures 15, 16, 17 & 18, and for the Figure in Appendix B. Figure 8 was adapted and re-used under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.