Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 325095-M-6
Supply Chain Modelling
Course info
Course module325095-M-6
Credits (ECTS)6
CategoryMA (Master)
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byTilburg University; Tilburg School of Economics and Management; TiSEM: Management; TiSEM: Management;
Is part of
M Information Management
M Supply Chain Management
prof. dr. H.A. Akkermans
Other course modules lecturer
J.M.M. Derks, MSc
Other course modules lecturer
ir. R.M. van de Kerkhof
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2019
Starting block
Course mode
Registration openfrom 07/01/2020 up to and including 21/08/2020
Students who have successfully completed this course will be able to:
  • Understand the system dynamics interrelations between static supply chain structures and the dynamic supply chain behaviour of these supply chains;
  • Recognize instances of specific (service) supply chain dynamics behaviour, in particular demand shock dynamics, workload-quality dynamics and relationship spiral dynamics. They will be able to understand the underlying feedback structures generating these dynamics and they will be able to suggest policies for improved behaviour.
Students who have successfully completed this course will be familiar with:
  • Nine real-world cases of disruptive (service) supply chain behaviour, as described in Chapters 3-12 of the course. These include cases in the aerospace, electronics, telecom, ICT and insurance industries;
  • The organization and supply chain theory against which these cases are set, such as bounded rationality and decision traps, oscillation and amplification and the bullwhip effect, speculative demand bubbles, balanced scorecard and performance indicators learning curve effects, decision filters, stage gates and concurrent engineering, service bullwhip effects, Yerkes-Dobson Law, Winner's Curse, supply chain collaboration, relationships spirals, ERP implementation, IT outsourcing and performance-based contracts.
Students who have successfully completed this course will also be able to:
  • Change parameter values, create output graphs and tables and conduct simulation experiments, including sensitivity analysis, in the system dynamics simulation package Sysdea.
  • Analyse these simulation experiments and trace back in the simulation models of the nine cases described the root causes for the behaviour of the model. They will also be able to compare different policy scenarios and explain why one scenario is better than another.
This is a so-called blended learning course, with both "live lectures", assisted lab session work, many online video lectures and business simulation games. Materials are accessible via Blackboard. Sysdea is a web-based package, thus can be accessed from any computer with an internet connection. The students receive an account for Sysdea during the first tutorial.
Computer exam (100%), consisting of 33% case and theory-based questions, and 66% simulation-language based questions.
The course consists of five main parts:
  1. Setting the stage (Chapters 1-3): a primer in supply chain dynamics, a primer in system dynamics concepts and a primer in managerial decision-making;
  2. Demand shock dynamics (Chapters 4-6): 3 real-world cases of demand shocks as experienced by ASML, NXP and Interpolis;
  3. Workload-Quality dynamics (Chapters 7-9): 3 real-world cases of product-development and ramp-up dynamics as experienced by a semiconductor company, Airbus and KPN Telecom;
  4. Collaboration dynamics (Chapter 10-12): 3 real-world cases of collaboration issues (so-called relationship spirals) as experienced by Fokker, Philips Electronics and Atos Origin/KPN;
  5. Moving forward (Chapter 13): Organizational change approach required to address supply network dynamics, concluding remarks and Q&A session.
That is, after learning the basics of supply chain dynamics, three main topics are discussed - demand shock dynamics, workload-quality dynamics and collaboration dynamics. For each topic, students will learn about and practice with real-world cases (nine in total), sitting in the chair of the decision maker. The lectures focus on the corresponding (theoretical) reflections per case, whereas the tutorials focus on practicing with the models per case. Taken together, the tutorials consist of three major parts:
  1. Basic modelling skills: creating variables, graphs and tables, performing scenario analyses
  2. Model understanding: understanding the structure and behaviour of the 9 models
  3. Practicing exam skills: identify driving feedback loops, explain differences in model behaviour (sensitivity analysis), determine the optimal policy.
Type of instructions
2 hour lectures, 2 hour lab sessions
Type of exams
Computer exam (100%), for further information see specifics

Compulsory Reading
  1. Akkermans, H.A., Supply Chain Dynamics: Mastering Disruptive Change in Innovation-Driven Industries (2nd edition), Educatieve Uitgeverij, 's-Hertogenbosch, 2018, ISBN 978-94-002-2553-4.

Recommended Reading
  1. n/a
Course available for exchange students
Master level, conditions apply
Contact person
prof. dr. H.A. Akkermans
Timetable information
Supply Chain Modelling
Written test opportunities
Written test opportunities (HIST)
Digitaal examen / Digital examEXAM_01BLOK 3119-06-2020
Digitaal examen / Digital examEXAM_01BLOK 3209-07-2020
Required materials
Recommended materials
Digital exam

Kies de Nederlandse taal