Supply Chain Case Studies

SCM Globe comes with a library of case studies shown below that explore commercial, humanitarian, and military supply chains. The case studies range from relatively simple cases like Cincinnati Seasonings, to quite challenging cases such as Zara Clothing Company, or Syria Evacuation Scenario Case studies are laboratories where you apply what you learn in lectures and readings to solve supply chain problems in highly realistic simulations (see one instructor’s assessment: What You Learn from Case Studies and Simulations). As you work with these cases you will gain an intuitive understanding of supply chain dynamics and develop analytical skills for designing and managing real supply chains.

 (screenshot from Zara Clothing Company case study)

The case studies presently available in the SCM Globe library are shown below. You are welcome to use any or all of them as you wish (you can also create your own case studies or we can create them for you). They are listed in the three categories and in approximate order of progressive challenge within each category.

We recommend people new to SCM Globe start with Cincinnati Seasonings case study. Work through the challenges presented in that case, and you will learn the skills you need to progress on to more difficult cases. Click on the cases below to see a description and introduction to each:




NOTE: the Syria Evacuation Scenario involves both a civilian humanitarian supply chain and a military supply chain. The humanitarian supply chain is to support the refugees, and the military supply chain supports the military organizations that provide protection for the humanitarian mission.

(screenshot from case study: S&J Trading Company – Angola)

As shown in the screenshots below, you access the case study library by clicking on the “View Library” button (1) in upper right corner of screen as shown below. In the library you can see a list of supply chain case studies (2) and click the “Import” button to load a selected case study into your account. Then click “My Account” button (3) to go back to your account. In you account screen click the “Edit” button associated with the supply chain you want to work on.

Acct Scr1

Working with Case Studies

In every case study the first goal is to get the supply chain to run for 15 – 30 days, and then get it to run for that same period of time at the lowest operating cost and lowest on-hand inventory level. As you figure out how to do this, you will gain an intuitive sense for how supply chains work, and develop your analytical skills for exploring different options.

If you continue with a case study, you will next be challenged to use the understanding and skills you’ve acquired to expand or re-design the supply chain you are working on. If the supply chain is supporting a growing business you need to extend the supply chain to support new stores and still keep operating costs as low as possible. If the supply chain supports a disaster response or humanitarian mission you need to create a supply chain to respond to the disaster and make it run efficiently so that the right aid supplies get to the right places when they are needed.

A popular case study to start with is the Cincinnati Seasonings case study. When you load that supply chain model into your edit screen you will see the beginning supply chain drawn on a map. It is composed of one factory, a distribution center (DC) and three stores; zoom in and click on products, facilities, vehicles or routes in the accordion menu on the right side of the Edit screen to see information about them. Then click the “Simulation” button, and a new tab will open in your web browser to run the simulation. Click “Play” to start the simulation. The simulation will cycle through some number of days and then a point of failure in the supply chain will be found – a facility will run out of a product, or a facility will accumulate too much product and run out of storage space to handle it as shown in the screenshot below.

(screenshots from case study: Cincinnati Seasonings)

You make decisions about how to fix these problems. And you run simulations to see how well your decisions work. Depending on the changes you make, your supply chain simulation will run for additional days and other problems will arise. Keep improving your supply chain model until you get the simulation to run for 30 days. Then refine your supply chain model to make it run for 30 days using less inventory and with lower transportation and operating costs – that is the challenge in SCM Globe and in real-world supply chains as well.

NOTE: You can run simulations for longer than 30 days, but there is usually no reason to do so. This is because most companies do not run their supply chains unchanged for longer than 30 days at a time. They use a 30 day S&OP (sales and operations planning) cycle and these simulations correspond to that S&OP cycle.

Use Default Values or Research Current Data for Case Studies

When you load any of the case study supply chain models from the SCM Globe library, they come with default numbers already plugged in. You can either accept the defaults or do some research to find more accurate and current data. This data (like prices everywhere) changes all the time.

Look for data on products, facilities and vehicles that are used in your supply chain and see what their specifications and costs are. Costs can vary widely in different parts of the world (a useful website for commercial real-estate prices in North America is Exact numbers are often hard to find, so make your best estimates and cite the sources of your information.

Metric System of Weights and Measures

In the case studies all weights, volumes, distances and speeds are expressed using the metric system. The metric system is used around the world in every country except three: LIberia; Myanmar; and the United States.

So it is good for supply chain professionals to feel comfortable with the metric system.


Register on SCM Globe to gain access to all case studies. Click the blue “Register” button on the home page ( and buy a subscription (if you haven’t already) using a credit card or PayPal account. Then go to the SCM Globe library and click the “Import” button next to this case study. Scan the “Getting Started” section (if you haven’t already), and you are ready to go. To share your changes and improvements to this model with other SCM Globe users see “Download and Share Supply Chain Models


Copyright © 2015 by SCM Globe Corp.