I've been learning Python like for a year and started learning a little about pandas DataFrame. I made this little program to practice all the concepts and would like to hear your suggestions for improvement.


This program should plot how the inventory levels behave according some initials conditions: number of periods, demand distribution, lead time distribution and the chosen control policy (see types of policy).


inventory position = on hand inventory + inventory on order

lead time = the amount of time between the placing of an order and the receipt of the goods ordered.


s reorder point, Q order quantity, R review period, S order-up-to level


We use four different base policy types:

  1. (s, Q)-policy. Whenever the inventory position reaches the reorder point s or drops below this point, an order of size Q is triggered.
  2. (s, S)-policy. Under this policy, the size of the order – triggered whenever the inventory position reaches or drops below the reorder point s – equals the difference between the order-up-to level S and the current inventory position.
  3. (R, S)-policy. The review period R indicates the length of the interval in-between two reviews. At these points of time, the inventory position is observed and the difference between the inventory position and the order-up-to level S is ordered.
  4. (R, s, S)-policy. Every R intervals the inventory position is checked. An order is triggered only if the inventory position has reached or dropped below the reorder point s. Then the order size equals the difference between the order-up-to level S and the current inventory position.

import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
import numpy as np
from pandas import DataFrame

# The distribution factory
def make_distribution(function,*pars):
    def distribution():
        return function(*pars)
    return distribution

def make_data(periods=52, 
              initial_inventory = 10, 
              demand_dist = make_distribution(np.random.normal,2,1),
              lead_time_dist = make_distribution(np.random.triangular,1,2,3),
              policy = {'method':'Qs', 'arguments': {'Q':3,'s':5}}):
    """ Return a Pandas dataFrame that contains the details of the inventory simulation.

    Keyword arguments:
    periods           -- numbers of periods of the simulation (default 52 weeks)
    initial_inventory -- initial inventory for the simulation
    demand_dist       -- distribution of the demand (default triangular min=1, mode=2, max=3) 
    lead_time_dist    -- distribution of the lead time (default triangular min=1, mode=2, max=3)
    policy            -- dict that contains the policy specs (default = {'method':'Qs', 'arguments': {'Q':3,'s':5}})

    # Create zero-filled Dataframe
    period_lst = np.arange(periods) # index
    header = ['initial_inv_pos', 'initial_net_inv', 'demand', 'final_inv_pos', 
              'final_net_inv', 'lost_sales', 'avg_inv', 'order', 'lead_time'] # columns
    df = DataFrame(index = period_lst, columns = header).fillna(0)

    # Create a list that will store each period order
    order_list = [Order(quantity=0, lead_time=0, sent=False) for x in range(periods)] 

    # Fill DataFrame
    for period in period_lst:
        if period == 0:
            df['initial_inv_pos'][period] = initial_inventory
            df['initial_net_inv'][period] = initial_inventory
            df['initial_inv_pos'][period] = df['final_inv_pos'][period-1] + order_list[period - 1].quantity
            df['initial_net_inv'][period] = df['final_net_inv'][period-1] + pending_order(order_list, period)
        df['demand'][period] = int(demand_dist())
        df['final_inv_pos'][period] = df['initial_inv_pos'][period] - df['demand'][period]
        order_list[period].quantity, order_list[period].lead_time, order_list[period].sent = placeorder(df['final_inv_pos'][period], policy, lead_time_dist, period)
        df['final_net_inv'][period] = df['initial_net_inv'][period] - df['demand'][period]
        if df['final_net_inv'][period] < 0:
            df['lost_sales'][period] = abs(df['final_net_inv'][period])
            df['final_net_inv'][period] = 0
            df['lost_sales'][period] = 0
        df['avg_inv'][period] = 0
        df['order'][period] = order_list[period].quantity
        df['lead_time'][period] = order_list[period].lead_time     

    return df

def placeorder(final_inv_pos, policy, lead_time_dist, period):
    """Place the order acording the inventory policy: 

       Keywords arguments:
       final_inv_pos    -- final inventory position of period
       policy           -- chosen policy Reorder point (Qs, Ss) or Periodic Review (RS, Rss)
       lead_time_dist   -- distribution of lead time
       period           -- actual period

    lead_time = int(lead_time_dist())

    # Qs = if we hit the reorder point s, order Q units
    if policy['method'] == 'Qs' and \
       final_inv_pos <= policy['arguments']['s']:
        return policy['arguments']['Q'], lead_time, True
    # Ss = if we hit the reorder point s, order S - final inventory pos
    elif policy['method'] == 'Ss' and \
         final_inv_pos <= policy['arguments']['s']:
        return policy['arguments']['S'] - final_inv_pos, lead_time, True
    # RS = if we hit the review period and the reorder point S, order S - final inventory pos
    elif policy['method'] == 'RS' and \
         period%policy['arguments']['R'] == 0 and \
         final_inv_pos <= policy['arguments']['S']:
        return policy['arguments']['S'] - final_inv_pos, lead_time, True
    # RSs = if we hit the review period and the reorder point s, order S - final inventory pos
    elif policy['method'] == 'RSs' and \
         period%policy['arguments']['R'] == 0 and \
         final_inv_pos <= policy['arguments']['s']:
        return policy['arguments']['S'] - final_inv_pos, lead_time, True
    # If the conditions arent satisfied, do not order
        return 0, 0, False

def pending_order(order_list, period):
    """Return the order that arrives in actual period"""
    indices = [i for i, order in enumerate(order_list) if order.sent == True]
    sum = 0
    for i in indices:
        if period - (i + order_list[i].lead_time +1) == 0: 
            sum += order_list[i].quantity

    return sum

class Order(object):
    """Object that stores basic data of an order"""
    def __init__(self, quantity, lead_time, sent):
        self.quantity = quantity
        self.lead_time = lead_time
        self.sent = sent # True if the order is already sent

def make_plot(df, policy, period):
    plt.rcParams['figure.figsize'] = 15,4 #define the fig size
    fig = plt.figure()
    ax = fig.add_subplot(111)

    y1 = df['final_inv_pos']
    l1, = plt.plot(y1, 'k', linewidth=1.2, drawstyle='steps', label='Final Inv')

    if policy['method'] == 'Qs':
        title = 'Simulation Policy = (Q: {Q}, s: {s})'.format(**policy['arguments'])
        y2 = policy['arguments']['s']*np.ones(period)
        l2, = plt.plot(y2, 'r:', label='Reorder point')
    elif policy['method'] == 'Ss':

    t = ax.set_title(title)

    ax.tick_params(axis='both', which='major', labelsize=8)
    plt.legend(loc='best', prop={'size':10})
    plt.ylabel("Inventory Level")

def simulate():
    #parameters of simulation
    Qs_policy   = {'method':'Qs', 'arguments': {'Q':3,'s':5}}
    demand_dist = make_distribution(np.random.normal,3,1)
    lead_time_dist = make_distribution(np.random.triangular,1,4,5)
    period = 52

    df = make_data(period,10,demand_dist,lead_time_dist,Qs_policy)

    make_plot(df, Qs_policy, period)

if __name__ == '__main__':

1 Answer 1


Nice piece of code. Are you calculating safety stock based on the std dev of the demand distribution? Couldn't find in the code - sorry if it is there.

If not not, that would be the natural next step.

The second step would be a simulation of inventory levels based on the policy you created in step one and two.

But you can go further and calculate the lost sales - that should involve bayesian calculations - and, given the cost of holding inventory, the money the company is saving by following your suggested policy: - reduced avg inventory (free working capital: one time only) - increased margin by selling more (every period)

Do a basic NPV calculation and you have a very solid number to show to any client.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This was a long time ago. I made a toy web app later, you could play with it here. The code is here \$\endgroup\$ Jun 27, 2016 at 15:50

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