Minimization of the Environmental Emissions of Closed-Loop Supply Chains A case study of returnable transport assets management
CHALLENGE - A closed-loop supply chain (CLSC) is a system where the forward and reverse flows of items occur and should be managed simultaneously. The proper management of a CLSC requires the design, control and operation of the system to maximize value creation over the entire life cycle of a product, with dynamic recovery of value from different types and volumes of returned items. This aim of this research is to evaluate and minimize the environmental impact of an existing CLSC.
SOLUTION - A simulation model is developed under Microsoft ExceL to reproduce the flow of returnable transport items (RTIs) in the CLSC and to compute the corresponding environmental impact. Multi-objective optimization, including some relevant environmental key performance indicators (KPIs), is then carried out exploiting the software modeFRONTIER to determine the settings that minimize emissions of the CLSC. As a last step, the Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) tool of modeFRONTIER was exploited to rank the feasible configurations on the basis of their score against the objectives set in the optimization.
BENEFITS - The multi-objective optimization targeted, in particular, the minimization of the CO2 emissions, coupled with the minimization of stock-out occurrence and the maximization of assets usage and rotation. As a result, the setting of the asset management process, in terms of OP and MPQ, which performed best against the objectives set was derived as a function of the relative importance assigned to each KPI.