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Online from 1996

   Supplier selection and evaluation are arguably one of the most critical functions for the
success of an organization. Several approaches exist in the literature to objectively evaluate
suppliers, including analytic hierarchy process and total cost of ownership. Analytic hierarchy
process provides a framework to cope with multiple criteria situations involving supplier
selection, while the total cost of ownership is a methodology and philosophy, which look beyond
just the price of a purchase to better understand and manage costs in selecting and maintaining
relationships with suppliers. This paper illustrates the two approaches and provides a comparison




Available online 6 May 2003.


In this paper an experimental study of formal decision-making models for supplier selection is
described. Attention is paid to all phases of the supplier selection process: the recognition of the
need for a new supplier, the formulation of decision criteria, the qualification of suitable
candidates and final selection. It appears from the experiments that formal decision models may
prove to be useful in various ways throughout the whole supplier selection process and in
different purchasing situations.


Available online 6 March 2006.


In any large organization, millions of dollars are spent on outsourcing. Most large organizations
are outsourcing those activities that are either not cost efficient if done in-house or not core to
their businesses. One of the most critical steps in outsourcing is vendor selection, which is a
strategic decision. We model the vendor selection problem as a multi-objective optimization
problem, where one or more buyers order multiple products from different vendors in a multiple
sourcing network. Price, lead-time and rejects (quality) are explicitly considered as three
conflicting criteria that have to be minimized simultaneously. A pricing model under quantity
discounts is used to represent the purchasing cost. We present and compare several multi-
objective optimization methods for solving the vendor selection problem. The methods include
weighted objective, goal programming and compromise programming. The multicriteria models
and the methods are illustrated using a realistic example. Value path approach is used to compare
the results of different models.


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Online from- 1 April 2010

    This study looks into the factors determining price comparisons and supplier
switching as revealed by a representative survey of Austrian consumers. Price comparisons and
supplier switching can be interpreted as a measure of the competitive pressure that consumers
exert on enterprises. Thereby, they influence the intensity of competition in an industry, which in
its turn, curbs inflation and boosts growth. The fundamental driver of switching is the
comparison of prices. Those who compare prices not only consider price comparisons but also
switching less cumbersome and, hence, switch suppliers more frequently. To a certain extent,
search as well as switching costs are perceived to be higher than they actually are, i.e. persons
inexperienced in searching and switching suppliers overestimate the difficulties involved. Price
comparison behavior is determined by educational attainment (education levels above
apprenticeships), gender and (urban or rural) residence. While Internet use is limited for price
comparisons, it reduces the efforts required for comparing prices and switching suppliers to a
highly significant extent in all sectors. Moreover, search and switching costs play a major role in
explaining sectoral differences in price comparison behavior. Therefore, competition intensity
could be increased through education reforms, the promotion of Internet usage, sector- specific
reductions of search and switching costs as well as awareness-raising measures. The results can
be used for further analyses in the field of competition, productivity and inflation.