Title: Investigating manufacturing small and medium-sized enterprises' immediate response and short-term recovery from flooding using an agent-based approach

Authors: Meshal Alharbi; Graham Coates

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, Durham University, Durham, DH1 3LE, UK ' School of Engineering, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU, UK

Abstract: The predominance and economic significance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) means widespread disruption can have severe financial consequences for a nation. This paper presents an agent-based approach enabling simulations to investigate manufacturing SMEs' immediate response to and short-term recovery from a flood event to evaluate the effectiveness of combinations of inundation precautions. Manufacturing SME agents exhibit pre- and post-flood behaviours gleaned from interviews with such businesses that have flood experience. Based on a flood event simulated for Sheffield in the UK, results show an individual SME with most precautions implemented in the lightly or moderately flooded area can return to 100% production approximately 7 days earlier than if the least precautions were employed. Further, considering the average short-term recovery of all SMEs with most precautions implemented in the lightly or moderately flooded area, 100% production can be achieved almost 20 days before manufacturers located in the severely flooded area.

Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; agent-based modelling and simulation; flooding; short-term recovery; manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPM.2019.099901

International Journal of Simulation and Process Modelling, 2019 Vol.14 No.2, pp.87 - 104

Received: 02 Feb 2018
Accepted: 22 Aug 2018

Published online: 20 May 2019 *

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