A game-based approach towards facilitating decision making for perishable products: an example of blood supply chain
Expert Systems with Applications
Supply chains for perishable items consist of products with a fixed shelf life and limited production/collection; managing them requires competent decision-making. With the objective of placing the learners in the position of decision-makers, we propose the Blood Supply Chain Game which simulates the supply chain of blood units from donors to patients based on a real case study modeling the UK blood supply chain. The Excel-based game is an abstraction of the technical complex simulation model providing a more appropriate learning environment. This paper presents the game’s background, its mathematical formulations, example teaching scenarios and the learners’ evaluation. The game aims to translate qualitative aspects of a sensitive supply chain into quantitative economic consequences by presenting a process analysis and suggesting solutions for the patient’s benefit in a cost effective manner, trying to synchronize blood demand and supply and maximize the value of the whole supply chain. This innovative approach will be instructive for students and healthcare service professionals.
NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Expert Systems with Applications. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Expert Systems with Applications, Volume 41, Issue 9, July 2014, Pages 4043–4059 doi:10.1016/j.eswa.2013.12.038
Vol. 41, Issue 9, pp. 4043 - 4059