Date of Award

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Mamadou Seck

Committee Member

Erika Marsillac

Committee Member

Ghaith Rabadi


Modern supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and are exposed to higher levels of risk. Globalization, market uncertainty, mass customization, technological and innovation forces, among other factors, make supply networks more susceptible to disruptions (both those that are man-made and/or ones associated with natural events) that leave suppliers unavailable, shut-down facilities and entail lost capacity.

Whereas several models for disruption management exist, there is a need for operational representations of concepts such as resilience that expand the practitioners’ understanding of the behavior of their supply chains. These representations must include not only specific characteristics of the firm’s supply network but also its tactical and strategic decisions (such as sourcing and product design). Furthermore, the representations should capture the impact those characteristics have on the performance of the network facing disruptions, thus providing operations managers with insights on what tactical and strategic decisions are most suitable for their specific supply networks (and product types) in the event of a disruption.

This research uses Agent-Based Modeling and Simulation (ABMS) and an experimental set-up to develop a representation of the relationships between tactical and strategic decisions and their impact on the performance of multi-echelon networks under supply uncertainty. Two main questions are answered: 1) How do different tactical and strategic decisions give rise to resilience in a multi-echelon system?, and 2) What is the nature of the interactions between those factors, the network’s structure and its performance in the event of a disruption?

Product design was found to have the most significant impact on the reliability (Perfect Order Fulfillment) for products with high degrees of componentization when dual sourcing is the chosen strategy. However, when it comes to network responsiveness (Order Fulfillment Cycle Time), this effect was attenuated. Generally, it was found that the expected individual impact these factors have on the network performance is affected by the interactions between them.