A grammar-based process modeling and simulation methodology for supply chain management

A grammar-based process modeling and simulation methodology for supply chain management
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  H. Badioze Zaman et al. (Eds.): IVIC 2011, Part I, LNCS 7066, pp. 77–86, 2011.© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011 A Grammar-Based Process Modeling and SimulationMethodology for Supply Chain Management Mohsen Mohammadi 1,* , Muriati Bt. Mukhtar 1 , and Hamid Reza Peikari 2   1 Information Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,Bangi, 43600, Malaysia  2 Graduate School of Business, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia,Bangi, 43600, Malaysia Abstract. In order to respond to customer demands, supply chains must berapidly reconfigured and evaluated. This has given rise to supply chainsimulation as an important tool to aid in the evaluation of supply chainconfigurations. Part of the reconfigurations involved designing and redesigningbusiness processes. Hence, business process simulation is an integral part of supply chain simulation. Supply chain simulation models are usually large-scalecomplex models. It is thus usual for the simulation experts to get overwhelmedwith the simulation process itself. This paper intends to propose a methodology,combining two approaches (i.e. grammar-based business process modeling andsimulation) to facilitate process thinking (reengineering). This methodologybridges the gap between business process modeling and simulation byproviding the grammatical approach. This paper presents a novel approach todesign business processes based on grammar-based process modeling, event-driven process chains (EPC) and discrete event simulation. This paperillustrates that the grammar-based process modeling approach is applicable tothe simulation of dynamic systems such as supply chains as well as representingdetailed description of the processes and events. More detailed and advancedanalysis, and discussions will be reported in future papers. Keywords: Event-driven process chain, grammar-based modeling, processsimulation, supply chain, Business Process Reengineering. 1 Introduction The uncertainties in business environment change business models in supply chain.Therefore, it is needed to create/change business process in the shortest possible timeto respond to the uncertainties of environment. In the design of new businessprocesses, simulation facilitates the validation of the processes to ensure that they willwork as designed. Simulation is used to evaluate supply chain performance and is anintegral part of the decision making process in supply chain management. Businessprocess-based simulation provides a precise, visual method to analyze and comparethe performance before and after business process engineering [1]. For a * Corresponding author.  78 M. Mohammadi, M.B. Mukhtar, and H.R. Peikari manufacturing supply chain, manufacturing patterns such as manufacturing processmodel, which focus on process modeling, process management, process analysis, andprocess reengineering [2] will form an important input in the supply chain simulationmodel. As such, in order to develop supply chain simulation models, the modeler isrequired to use several approaches and tools in order to capture the important facets of the supply chain. Tools such as the Business Process Modeling (BPM), BusinessProcess Simulation (BPS) and discrete event simulation are usually used. However,these tools have limitations and they need to be complemented by other tools. Forinstance, Business Process Modeling (BPM) has a static structured approach tobusiness process improvement. It provides a holistic approach on how the businessoperates by documenting the business processes. However, BPM does not provide anyinformation about the dynamics of the business and how the changes in businessprocess with the minimum risk is possible. To provide a dynamic approach to thebusiness and to consider the impacts of change in such dynamics without risk, theconcept of Business Process Simulation (BPS) was developed by researchers andpractitioners [3]. However, the diagrams in Business Process Modeling and BusinessProcess Simulation are not sufficient to describe the details of a complex system andits processes [4]. There are numerous studies about Business Process Reengineering(BPR), in which each have used different methodologies. For example, [5] haveintroduced a methodology based on five business process modeling languages tointegrate business process. [6] have proposed a general framework to assess areengineering project, from its strategic planning stage to post-implementation phases[7] on the other hand have proposed a conceptual model to demonstrate the linksbetween organizational re-structuring and behavioral changes to reengineer businessprocesses. All of such studies have focused on business processes while in order tolink between process modeling and process simulation; it is needed to have descriptivedetails of events and processes. Therefore, it is needed to apply a Grammar-BasedProcess Modeling. Applying such an approach, can improve the simulation of complex systems such as supply chains. Moreover, using a grammar-based processmodeling approach is essential to prevent repeating the sub-processes and events of the system. The objective of this paper is to apply a Grammar-Based ProcessModeling and Simulation methodology for supply chain management to illustratemore details of the system and its processes. [8] developed a simulation model byproposing an analytical framework for integrated logistic chain and this paper byusing Arena 10 applies a simulation model based on numerical example in [8];however it does not show the key performance indicators (KPI) and optimization of the model but show the possibility of using the information in simulation andanalyzing them to have the results. 2 Literature Review The grammatical approach to design and redesign supply chain processes has receivedsome attention. It is because this approach can balance and integrate the use of theother process modeling approaches [9]. MIT process handbook recommends the useof grammar-based approach to model the organizational and system processes [10].Using this approach, each of the processes of a supply chain can be further described,modeled and modularized in more detailed activities and processes. Therepresentation of the supply chain processes using this approach is easy to maintainbecause the processes can be described in hierarchical chunks [11].Many process  A Grammar-Based Process Modeling and Simulation Methodology 79 simulation tools can be integrated into the manufacturing process, and can be used toreengineer and optimize the manufacturing process model which lead to theimprovement of many performance indices. Process models can be developed andsupported by different systems such as workflow management system which supportthe decision making of managers in the business environment [2].Business Process Simulation is an important part of the design and redesign of business processes. It provides quantitative reports about the impacts of a processdesign on process performance. Moreover, it provides quantitative evidences todecide the best process design. Simulation of business processes overlap with thesimulation of other event systems [12].Simulation has enabled companies to deal withthe impacts of the changes in their sites’ parameters without any unwanted oruncalculated effects on their operations and outputs. Business processes andcompanies knowledge can become much more transparent and understandable withan explicit, standard documentation [13].The EPC [14] has been developed in 1992 by the team of August-Wilhelm Scheerat the Saarbrücken University in a joint research project with SAP AG. for modellingbusiness processes with the goal to be easily understood and used by business people.The basic idea of EPC is that events trigger functions, or the executed functions causeevents. The activities of a business process can be model by functions, and events arecreated by processing functions[15].Three different tools applicable for BPS are process execution, process modelingand simulation. Jansen-Vullers and Netjes [12] developed a framework to findstrengths and weaknesses of simulation modeling and process modeling tools. Asshown in the Table 1, these tools for each of the evaluation criteria ranges from verybad (– –) and bad (-) to neutral (+/–), good (+) and very good (++). Table 1. Modeling capabilities [4]Feature   ARISFLOWerArena   Ease of model building+ ++Formal semantics/verif.– – – +/–Workflow patterns– ++Level of details   ++++++Animation   + – –++Scenarios +– –+ 3 Model Description As shown in Figure 1, a supply chain model was considered with the followingassumptions:Three suppliers: Supplier 1, Supplier 2, Supplier 3Two Semi-finished manufacturers: Semi-finished manufacturer 1, Semi-finishedmanufacturer 2 :One Final manufacturer: Final manufacturerOne Distributor: DCTwo Warehouse: Warehouse1, Warehouse2Three Retailers: Retailer1, Retailer2, Retailer3 and Ultimate Customers.  80 M. Mohammadi, M.B. Mukhtar, and H.R. Peikari Fig. 1. The supply chain model 3.1 The Methodology An efficient business process is a critical factor for any business to succeed. Businessprocess modeling facilitates the understanding and analysis of the business process,and business process simulation is an effective technique to evaluate and diagnosebusiness processes in an organization [16]. Due to different issues and shortcomingsin time, costs, and users’ skills, the advanced simulation and optimization techniqueshave not been widely applied [16].The methodology to design business processreengineering modeling is presented in the following flowchart(Figure 2) Fig. 2. The Methodology of Business Process Reengineering Modeling  A Grammar-Based Process Modeling and Simulation Methodology 81 3.2 The Workflow The workflow of the supply chain model illustrated in Figure 3 has been consideredwithout the retailers. Fig. 3. Workflow diagram 3.3 Grammar-Based Modeling in Supply Chain Process Numerous manufacturing process modeling approaches can be used in process viewsuch as workflow modeling approach and event-driven process chain. Many processsimulation tools can be integrated to the manufacturing process model. This optimizesand reengineers the manufacturing process model which lead to the improvement of many performance indices [2]. The element for representing the Supply ChainProcess with structural form can be defined [4]: Process:Pi =<Id(Pi),Name(Pi),Description(Pi),Position(Pi),In(Pi),Out(Pi),Agent(Pi),pre(Pi),post(Pi),> Event:   Ei =<Id(Ei),Resouce(Ei),pre(Ei),post(Ei),Description(Ei)> Resource:Resource(Ei) ={Rj,j=1,2,...•RjX,X=document or material}RjX,X=document or material}X,X=document or material} Rj =<Name(Rj),RS(Rj)> Dependency:Dependency (Di) = <Rule name, Input, Output> 3.4 Modeling the Process In order to represent the workflow of the model, we used Event-Driven Process (EPC)modeling language using ARIS Express 2.3. the events, processes and junctions inthis software include and, or, xor. The model has been illustrated in Figure 4.The graph in a model is more intuitive than grammatical model. The abovemodels can represent dynamic process with their representation logic and graphicalsymbols.
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