Optimizing Physical and Financial Flows of Supply Chains Using Agent-Based Simulation

Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D Candidate, Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management and Economics, Science & Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran.

3 Associate Professor Department of Industrial Management, Faculty of Management, Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, Tehran, Iran.


This paper has investigated the inventory and financial flows in supply chains. Its purpose is to provide a method to optimize these two flows for chain members, where Return on Capital (ROC) is defined as the dependent variable, and cash conversion cycle (CCC) equation components, which show financial and physical flows, are formulated as independent variables. The data of chain members from six selected industries, including auto & parts, pharmacy, food, petrochemical, metal, and mining, have been extracted. Two scenarios, 1) revision of independent variables without a change in the cash conversion cycle of the entire supply chain, and 2) reducing the days of independent variables along with reducing the cash conversion cycle, have been defined. The problem is simulated using Agent-Based Modeling and NetLego software. Results of the first scenario indicate that if Days Inventory Outstanding (DIO) is reduced in downstream and transferred to upstream of the chain, and Days Payment Outstanding (DPO) in the upstream is shortened, ROC is improved for the entire chain. Also, the results of the second scenario show that, in proportion to the reduction of the cash conversion cycle through productivity under collaboration of chain members, the performance improvement of ROC is remarkable.


Main Subjects

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