Simulation-optimization Approaches for Blood Logistics in South Africa
Reuter-Oppermann Melanie, Widera Adam, Hellingrath Bernd
Blood logistics in South Africa is a challenging topic, during a crisis like the current COVID-19 pandemic, but also already in everyday life. Robust optimization approaches can help setting up and managing the blood supply chain including the decision about facility locations and transportation routes that are accessible, cost-efficient and can secure the demand in preferably all possible scenarios. In order to be solvable, these optimization approaches often need to make many assumptions for the practical problem. Then, it is good practice to analyze computed solutions by means of simulation, which models all relevant aspects of the practical setting. Current research is investigating so-called simulation-optimization approaches that integrate optimization approaches into a simulation in order to automate the process and improve the solution quality. In this talk, we present an outline for a simulation-optimization framework that will be used at different planning levels to improve blood logistics in South Africa. This work is based in a larger research project that aims at designing a decision support system for blood logistics as part of crisis management in South Africa.
blood supply chains; simulation; optimization