Why is Supply Chain Resilience important?
Amid this post-pandemic era, supply chain networks (SCN) are more vulnerable to possible disruptions such as market swings, demand instability, and increasingly frequent natural and man-made calamities. These occurrences mostly have a negative impact on SCN operations and jeopardise its ability to conduct effective and efficient operations. Cost increases, earnings losses, damage to a company's reputation, or even a mix of these are all examples of disruption damage. These unexpected disruptions are unavoidable in today's business world, where globalisation has resulted in a more integrated, interdependent, and complex network of organisations, which increases the likelihood and/or impact of unexpected disruptions and, as a result, puts business functions at risk.
Today's complex supply chain networks comprise a significant number of global and local suppliers, merchants, and distribution centres, all of which are more vulnerable to interruptions at any point in the system and their possible cascade effects across the SCN (ripple effect). As a result, rapid recovery following interruptions is crucial to minimising the negative consequences of the ripple effect across the SCN. Methods to enable organisations to create a resilient supply chain that effectively responds to adapts to, and recovers from disturbances and their ripple impact are urgently needed. Effective and robust SCNs are critical for Australia, which is vulnerable to natural calamities and heavily reliant on foreign commerce. Unexpected trade restrictions, trade disputes between Australia and China, devastating floods, and bushfires are all recent instances. The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic consequences exposed severe flaws in Australia's supply chain and logistics networks, putting many businesses and organisations at risk based on how they respond to and recover from such disruptions. In this volatile climate, Australian manufacturing companies must consider innovative techniques to assist them to improve their SC resilience in order to avoid economic calamity and boost prosperity. Australian firms can benefit from an integrated intelligent decision support system that can help them deal with uncertainty and upheaval.
Considering all these, this research group has been developing decision support tools to improve our country's ability to respond quickly and effectively to such unpredictably changing circumstances and potentially unprecedented events.
Why is Supply Chain Sustainability important?
Besides the economic term, a sustainable supply chain dictates companies' attempts to address the environmental and human effects of their goods' journey through the supply chain, from raw materials sourcing through manufacture, storage, delivery, and every transportation connection in between. The objective is to reduce the environmental damage caused by elements like energy use, water consumption, and waste creation while also positively influencing the people and communities in and around their operations. These considerations are in addition to standard revenue and profit concerns in the business supply chain. According to studies, the supply chain is responsible for the majority of a company's environmental effects. As items are manufactured and transported throughout the world, supply chains frequently include energy-intensive manufacturing and transportation. As a result, rather than changing other company procedures, companies may typically make the most effect by changing their supply chain. Supply chain sustainability is especially difficult due to the intricacy of numerous supplier connections and border crossings. This complication can make it difficult to see critical operational details like labour conditions at a supplier's plant thousands of kilometres distant.
Considering all these, our research group has been working on devising multi-faceted strategies to reduce carbon emissions, cut back on waste by implementing lean concepts, prioritising renewable resources and proposing integrated waste management frameworks to facilitate recycling.
Our research is aimed at delivering:
- Efficient decision-making frameworks which help to increase the competitive ability of an organisation and empower them for its survival even under disrupting conditions
- Reliable decision support system which can help a decision-maker to outmanoeuvre uncertainty by proactively assessing a global supply chain's ability to reduce the impact of disruptive events
- Resilient supply chain model that will immensely help boost the national economy by minimising raw material delays, shortening lead time, and increasing supply chain responsiveness.
- Frameworks and decision-support tools to quantify and tackle environmental and social sustainability risks
- Improved utilisation of artificial intelligence and evolutionary algorithms
Our research group bring together experts with remarkable track records in Cross-disciplinary research areas (such as supply chain management, network science, evolutionary algorithms, artificial intelligence business modelling, and simulation & modelling). We have long-standing experience in working with different project scheduling problems and then, consecutively, solving them by different advanced evolutionary algorithms. We can help organisations to better understand their capacity system and how it may lead to enhanced outputs and results, starting with the assumption that the focus should be on achieving high performance. Our emphasis on collaborating with organisations and doing applied research helps practitioners get the information and skills they need to put our research results into practice. The research team has extensive experience designing and implementing funded research from the ARC, industry partners, and other sources. We ensure that for any potential project design, the composition of the research team and the budget required for that project will reflect a concerted effort to calibrate a project that accounts for common project risks. In addition, we endeavour to communicate our findings to the public using local and national online news and communication platforms such as LinkedIn and other social media. Through UNSW, this research group has access to the supercomputer at National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), which are used to develop and test the developed algorithms. We have the necessary office space, access to information and library resources necessary to carry out any possible research matters.