Advanced supply chain planning processes and decision support systems for large-scale petrochemical companies

Louw, Johannes Jacobus (2006-12)

Thesis (PhD (Logistics))--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.


Conventional supply chain integration concepts focus primarily on the internal and external integration of individual supply chains (can be viewed as intra-supply chain integration). Due to the highly integrated nature of petrochemical value chains, related supply chains should also be integrated by taking account of enterprise/industry-wide synergies and interdependencies (can be viewed as inter-supply chain integration). Inter-supply chain integration can typically develop along three dimensions: - Upstream feed clusters (upstream in the chemical value chain) - Downstream product clusters (downstream in the chemical value chain) - Macro logistics network clusters (within and across related logistics networks for liquid bulk, dry bulk, packaged goods and gases) This dissertation presents a generic framework of applicable intra- and inter-supply chain planning processes that supports related long- (strategic), medium- (tactical) and short-term (operational) supply chain decisions for large-scale petrochemical companies. This type of companies has to manage relative complex supply chains. Highly complex supply chains (due to an extensive product portfolio, supplier base, customer base, manufacturing processes, transportation, and management processes and systems) require far more advanced planning processes than simple supply chains. Advanced supply chain planning processes cover an extended supply chain scope, deal with longer time horizons, and utilize more sophisticated analytical techniques and decision support systems. An extensive literature study, supplemented by empirical research in the South African petrochemical industry, provided the foundation for the advanced supply chain planning framework concluded in this dissertation. Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire presented to an informed audience constitute the empirical research conducted. The related best practices, concepts, approaches followed, and level of advancement in three supply chain planning dimensions were derived. To guide petrochemical companies along the planning advancement journey, the roadmap developed can be utilized for the application and implementation of the advanced supply chain planning framework. This roadmap articulates the advancement stages, dimensions, characteristics, and triggers to advance. Typical characteristics associated with the advancement stages and dimensions provide the means for a company to assess their level of progression. The essential mechanisms that can enable interventions are also articulated.

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