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Through modeling and simulation (M&S), supply management professionals can model a disruption and simulate how this event is likely to ripple through the supply chain. The modeler can also test the behavior of the system's response to the disruption under different "what if" scenarios, such as the availability of a secondary supplier or alternate transportation routes.
The fundamental motivation behind modern business M&S is rooted in the human drive to identify patterns and regularities in our environments with the intent of better controlling or directing the behavior of the system. Business modeling, in its most basic form, is the creation and arrangement of representational elements that approximate reality. Simulation is the potential interaction, or playing out, of these elements over time. The dynamic behavior of a system as its elements interact over time is captured through measures of performance such as revenue or productivity. Once the behavior of a system is understood, supply managers can realign assets with the intent of finding the arrangement that will yield the most optimal measures of performance.
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