Modelling economic and ecological aspects of inventory management strategies within a component-based material-flow simulator
Modern society’s increased globalization and the growing scarcity and costs of resources require that companies deal effectively with their customers and suppliers. Efficient inventory management strategies, based on optimal ordering policies, play an important role in this process. While profitability is likely to remain the dominant goal, there are many other objectives that must be met, such as reducing the negative impact of economic activities on the environment. By using ordering strategies that improve transportation efficiencies (see [GrHe03]) ecologically responsible inventory management must, for example, minimize all environmental burdens attributable to transportation. Such efforts can be further assisted by environmentally friendlier vehicles and shorter delivery routes; see [Wohl et a. 01]. In addition to a set of building blocks for modelling complex inventory strategies, the components discussed in this paper support modelling environmental aspects, such as transport emissions, and offer easy embedding of customized inventory simulations within a material flow simulator for specific classes of application.