Constant changes in demand for resources in the market complicate planning and management of material flows. In current practice, it’s possible to solve this problem by applying multi-agent systems representing a set of interacting software objects called intelligent agents. The activity of an intelligent agent is directed at achieving individual goals, which may include the search of possibilities of delivery, storing goods, transportation of goods and other. The article considers models, technologies, the typical architecture of multi-agent system, analyzes the completed projects and describes the prospects for the development of multi-agent systems in logistics.
Growth rates of internet retailing in Russia outperform brick-and-mortar segment, raising attractiveness of e-commerce for the new players. However growing number of newcomers make e-tailers seek new competitive advantages and pay specific attention to the logistics support of their businesses. Last mile delivery tends to be one of the most important, though also problematic logistics processes in the online retailing. Potential area of improvement for this process involves application of the heuristic routing methods. These methods allow to find close to optimal solution spending much less resources compared to the traditional methods.
The paper focuses on the heuristic method of the travelling salesman problem solution, complicated by the specifics of internet retailing (big number of clients and, hence, the delivery points). This method is based on the simulation of the behaviour of ants seeking the shortest path between their colony and the source of food. The authors describe the mathematical model of the ant colony optimization algorithm (ACO) and review its basic steps using the numerical example. Steps of the ACO include definition of the number of nodes, distance between them as well as pheromone concentration; location of couriers (delivery vans) in the nodes; identification of the probability of moving from the initial point (node) to all other points; selection of the movement direction; repetition of the preceding steps (apart from the initial one) for the new node and for the following ones up to the end of the cycle; pheromone renewal; accomplishment of the next cycles (iterations); finding of the shortest delivery route. Comparative analysis has shown major ACO benefits including fast solution of high-dimensional problems and algorithm applicability for the non-stationary systems with the changing parameters (much resembling an online retailing). An opportunity to apply ACO for the last mile delivery routing referring to the vast majority of e-tailers will significantly depend on the speed of development and proliferation of the respective software as well as on improving of selection and adaptation of the algorithm fine-tuning parameters.
It is shown, that leading role in supply chain management belongs to procedures of controlling business processes, and besides in majority of cases reconstruction of planning, accounting and economic analysis is necessary, first of all in focus-company in supply chain. Fuction is viewed and sequence of working out and implementing procedure of controlling logistic business processes in supply chain is offered. General sceme of controlling process of logistic business processes in supply chain is worked out. It is shown, that SCOR-model and strategic card of 'KPI gaps» (SCORe-card), which let implement benchmarking and strategic positioning of supply chain in competitive business area, are contemporary tools of controlling logistics in supply chain. The example of forming KPI evaluation of logistic business processes efficiency and SCORe-card for controlling aims is given.
The development of the domestic economy from the beginning of the 21st century is characterized by the growth of energy resources export volumes, including coal. That circumstance determined the increased demand for the design, research and modernization of export bulk cargo terminals. Growth of customers requirements and outdated standards, regulations and specifications define the need to improve design’ quality. An article covers issue of justification of material handling technology in the stockyard area of the export bulk cargo terminal within organizational and technical design. These terminals have a large throughput capacity and a unidirectional material flow which determine their narrow specialization and increased demands of ensuring reliability for terminals’ functioning. Providing of material handling technology in the stockyard area based on using specialized high-performance equipments with stream-flow transportation – stackers and reclaimers, as well as their combined type – stacker-reclaimers. That circumstance defined appropriateness of the problem research of equipment selection type (separate or combined) taking into account special aspects. To solve this problem, we used simulation methods that allowed to create a simulation model of the stockyard area functioning and to carry out experiments of parameters variation. The results allowed to estimate the range of incoming and outgoing flow intensity, which determines preference of choosing schemes with separate or combined equipment’ type. A formalized selection process by using the qualimetry methods based on a system of criteria was offered in reason of accounting special aspects of functioning within justification of the most effective material handling technology with increased accuracy. Mathematical tool, which used in proposed selection procedure, allows to taking into account many parameters, including qualitative characteristics, in spite of difficulty to present them in concrete values form. Thus, accounting special aspects of functioning becomes possible, which in general allows to substantiate the most effective material handling technology.
Russian mining industry experiences a rapid growth providing an attractive market for suppliers of mining equipment. However, it's a customer-dominated market. The customers set stringent requirements for the initial equipment supply, as well as for the after-sale service and spare parts supply. The manufacturers of mining equipment are thus facing the need to rigorously analyze their supply chain, to develop a reasonable customer service policy and to adjust the supply chain to meet the requirements of the service policy. To fulfill the after-sale maintenance requirements, the manufacturers must stock spare parts within the supply chain and to design inventory control policies. This paper presents an agent-based simulation approach for estimation of the supply chain's key performance indicators and to explore the service - cost trade-off. The conceptual model and the description of its implementation in Anylogic 8.4 software are provided. A case-study of a global mining equipment manufacturer's branch operating in Russia is described. The model is used to estimate the inventory control policy parameters required to meet the target customer service level, to compare make-to-order against make-to-stock supply strategies, as well as to explore the service level - cost trade-off.
Author examines the impact of integrated planning and, spesifically, sales and operations planning (S&OP) on balancing and reconciliation of market requirements and operations capabilities. Two levels of planning – operational and tactical – are taken into consideration, and results of balancing attempts on each of them are compared. An outline of new approach to the evaluation of sales and operations planning impact on business economy is presented.
Although on the surface budgeting is seen as the main process, among the factors of its efficiency in the first place is closely associated with the process of formation of the annual operating plan. Especially, the importance of this process increases with the current trends of the transition from mass production to customization. Thus, the reasonable budgeting will be possible only if we pre-carry out detailed planning of operating activities in the physical units. The question is, what level of aggregation we can afford when planning the operations and is it necessary to make their scheduling on the stage of operational (tactical) management? In this article the approach to structuring activities based on modern organizational techniques is formulated, the methodology of formation of the annual operating plan of the company is proposed, are considered the need and opportunities for scheduling execution of orders at the annual time horizon for the enterprise with a high degree of production diversification in the conditions of orders of varying complexity and duration of execution.
The article deals with the problem of quantitative estimates of the most important for process models of the SCOR type. The urgency of the problem is due to the growing competition in the market of logistics services and the increasing consumer requirements for the quality of logistics services. The original algorithm for integrated assessment of the sustainability of the company's business is considered.
Both restricted development of the economic industrial sector and increase in the number of structural investors require effective management of the material and financial resources of an enterprise in order to reduce its production costs. The proposed work considers optimization models for managing the enterprise’s production and financial activities that make it possible to increase the efficiency of its operation in a dynamic market environment. In addition to static models of the optimal production program selection with limited amount of fixed and working capital that do not consider the impact of the time factor, dynamic models of the production program optimization are proposed. Last type of models calculates the effect of inflation on the company’s marginal revenue. Impact of inflation on both the selling and purchasing price is in the focus of the paper. The method to calculate optimal output under lack of inventory and equipment in the static models is based on linear optimization. Meantime, dynamic models are solved by nonlinear optimization. Using the attributes of piecewise constant functions, nonlinear dynamic models with a vector function as a solution is proposed to be transformed into linear programming models. The optimal solutions found in dynamic models are evaluated for its stability to inflation impact. Application of models with dynamic management of fixed and working capital is shown on the numerical example of the OAO Rot Front chocolate factory (a publicly held company under the laws of the Russian Federation) in the second part of the paper.
The problem of management is formalized for the first time by purchases as a problem of a choice of the best decision at many criteria. Thus some of private criteria allow to consider demanded risk factors. Possibilities of the decision of problems of this kind on the basis of a method of a tree of decisions are illustrated.