Even though the use of simulation software packages is widespread in industrial and manufacturing companies, the criteria and methods proposed in the scientific literature to evaluate them do not adequately help companies in identifying a package able to enhance the efficiency of their production system. Hence, the main objective of this paper is to develop a framework to guide companies in choosing the most suitable manufacturing simulation software package. The evaluation framework developed in this study is based on two different multi-criteria methods: analytic hierarchy process (AHP) integrated with benefits, opportunities, costs, risks (BOCR) analysis and the best-worst method (BWM). The framework was developed on the basis of the suggestions from the literature and from a panel of experts, both from academia and industry, trying to capture all the facets of the software selection problem. For testing purposes, the proposed approach was applied to a mid-sized enterprise located in the south of Italy, which was facing the problem of buying an effective simulation software for Participatory Design. From a practical perspective, the application showed that the framework is effective in identifying the most suitable simulation software package according to the needs of the company. From a theoretical point of view, the multi-criteria methods suggested in the framework have never been applied to the problem of selecting simulation software; their usage in this context could bring some advantages compared to other decision-making tools.
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