Title: Role of third-party companies in a sustainable supply chain design

Authors: Mohammad Najjartabar-Bisheh; Mojgan Delavari; Behnam Malmir

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran ' Department of Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran ' Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, USA

Abstract: Uncertainties and constraints, such as capacity, add to complexity of supply chain network design, while the role of third-party companies in global supply chain networks is increasing. The present work considered the role of third-party companies in supply chain design in order to increase understanding of the uncertainty of demand, capacity constraints, and backorder shortages. A nonlinear mixed-integer model was introduced to optimise a closed-loop supply chain in an international network. Although exact methods are useful for small size instances, the mixed-integer model was solved by two meta-heuristic algorithms in real-size problems. The ANOVA test was applied for small-sized and large-sized problems in order to check the efficiency of meta-heuristics. Results showed that the imperialist competitive algorithm and particle swarm optimisation gained reliable and efficient solutions. A sensitivity analysis of important inventory parameters such as holding cost and demand was also conducted.

Keywords: third-party companies; closed-loop supply chain; meta-heuristic; analysis of variance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLSM.2018.091449

International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, 2018 Vol.30 No.1, pp.95 - 112

Received: 02 Sep 2016
Accepted: 25 Nov 2016

Published online: 01 May 2018 *

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