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The sudden burst of the property bubble, coupled with current global economic conditions has resulted in a huge decrease in demand for plumbing and heating fixtures in the Irish construction industry. Moreover, inefficient supply chain management policies have imposed further pressures on companies resulting in more system bottlenecks and unnecessary costs. Inventory management is seen as a functional area that can ease such bottlenecks and in turn increase supply chain efficiency, decrease costs and increase customer satisfaction. The challenge is to predict the balance of on-hand inventory and order quantity to optimise customer satisfaction and minimise inventory cost while taking factors such as customer segmentation into consideration. Traditional inventory mathematical techniques are inadequate in investigating the influence of customer segmentation policy on performance. Conceptual modelling using flowcharts and data flow diagrams in conjunction with simulation modelling and design of experiments have been developed to characterise the inventory management process, identify the significant process parameters and examine various customer management policies, aiming to achieve a high level of customer satisfaction rate at the lowest possible total cost.
Mahfouz, A., Crowe, J., Bennett, F. and Arisha, A. (2010). Customer Management Analysis of Irish Plumbing & Heating Distribution System: A Simulation Study. 2010 Second International Conference on Advances in System Simulation, Nice, France.