The Sourcing Simulator is an interactive software package that provides students with the capability to simulate retailing or retailing/manufacturing scenarios for a product line. The software is designed to allow students to evaluate the impact of various retail and manufacturing operating practices under different operating conditions.
The program simulates the retailing process for a line of product, which is offered over one or several consecutive Selling Cycles of fixed duration, with any leftovers being liquidated at the end of the final cycle. The simulated activity includes execution of an ordering (sourcing) strategy, interaction of a stream of customers with the shelf stock resulting in sales (or lost sales), and, depending on the scenario, pricing, promotions, and/or markdowns may be re-considered.
Many performance measures are evaluated. The model tracks inventory by SKU throughout the selling cycle, and SKUs are differentiated by style, color, and size. Therefore, it acts as a training tool for future retail buyers, planners, and managers.