Managing Large-scale Disruptions in Supply Chain Networks

Publication Type:
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Supply Chain (SC) risk management is a critical discipline, particularly in the face of local and global disruptions. Over the past decade, emphasis has been placed on creating strategies for resilient and sustainable SCs through risk characterisation, strategic planning, and justification. However, a significant research gap exists in developing SC resilience and strategies to mitigate the impact of catastrophic events. This thesis aims to fill this gap by conducting an extensive literature review on SC resilience strategies and their effects, especially against the backdrop of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic. It seeks to identify effective SC strategies for manufacturers of essential products to cope with supply, demand, and financial disruptions alongside challenges posed by catastrophic events. A cornerstone of this research is the creation of an SC resilience model that utilises system science methods to test and evaluate the efficacy of resilience strategies. This model assesses improvements in SCs and measures their resilience and sustainability from economic, social, and environmental perspectives. The study employs a mix of qualitative (through literature reviews and case studies) and quantitative (via system science methods) research methodologies to construct and evaluate models for both typical and disrupted SCs, focusing specifically on essential product supply chains, such as facemasks, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and toilet paper, in Australia. The research contributes to SC risk management in several ways, offering theoretical, methodological, empirical, and practical insights. It quantitatively assesses the effectiveness of resilience, adaptation, and recovery strategies in the face of large-scale disruptions like the COVID-19 pandemic. It also improves existing SC resilience models by incorporating strategies that address both supply and demand-side impacts, considering the dynamic and simultaneous effects of the pandemic. Moreover, it introduces an innovative integrated agent-based model and optimisation method to better understand SC processes, facilitating the exploration and implementation of proposed strategies for enhanced SC performance. Empirical findings highlight the importance of reducing risk response times and increasing production capacities to meet heightened consumer demand and mitigate financial shocks. The research also emphasises the need for optimal inventory and transportation strategies to minimise SC costs and enhance product accessibility. It reveals that resilience improvement in healthcare SCs can elevate economic and social sustainability, though it may involve trade-offs in environmental performance. Ultimately, this research provides valuable insights and practical guidelines for SC managers to effectively safeguard essential product SCs against large-scale disruptions, thus promoting resilience and sustainability amidst unpredictable challenges.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: