Abstract

Companies today are sourcing products from complex networks. Managing and overseeing these networks is challenging and requires methods including network theoretical considera-tions. Developing these methods demands an underlying model that describes the supply net-work structure and structural data, ideally representative samples. However, large-scale data of real supply network structures is rare, which restricts research in this field. This paper presents a formation model that generates supply networks from a focal company’s perspective. By con-ducting this formation process, exemplary networks are derived and compared to the structural patterns revealed by rare studies investigating real supply networks. The generated networks close the gap of non-available empirical data of large-scale supply networks. The formation is based upon a widely accepted concept of supplier selection. Necessary input parameters are a structured bill of materials. Further details, like the number of competitors, are modelled using a probability distribution. This approach makes it possible for further research to investigate more advanced methods for supporting the management of supply processes. Additionally, using this framework for generating large-scale supply networks makes it possible to acquire a more de-tailed insight into supply network structure.

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