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Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory ; 122, 2023.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2240465


In light of recently increased e-commerce, also a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examines how additive manufacturing (AM) can contribute to e-commerce supply chain network resilience, profitability and competitiveness. With the recent competitive supply chain challenges, companies aim to decrease cost performance metrics and increase responsiveness. In this work, we aim to establish utilisation policies for AM in a supply chain network so that companies can simultaneously improve their total network cost and response time performance metrics. We propose three different utilisation policies, i.e. reactive, proactive – both with 3D printing support – and a policy excluding AM usage in the system. A simulation optimisation process for 136 experiments under various input design factors for an (s, S) inventory control policy is carried out. We also completed a statistical analysis to identify significant factors (i.e. AM, holding cost, lead time, response time, demand amount, etc.) affecting the performance of the studied retailer supply chain. Results show that utilising AM in such a network can prove beneficial, and where the reactive policy contributes significantly to the network performance metrics. Practically, this work has important managerial implications in defining the most appropriate policies to achieve optimisation of supply network operations and resilience with the aid of AM, especially in times of turbulence and uncertainty. © 2022 The Authors