As more evidence indicates that a corporation is very much defined by its purchases and benefited by its close partnership with the suppliers, the sourcing decision becomes increasingly important in the firm’s growth and profit. This paper synthesizes the available sourcing alternatives into four categories, namely multiple sourcing, single sourcing, single/dual hybrid or network sourcing, and global sourcing, and provides a comprehensive review of these purchasing methods based on extensive literature. Besides the discussion of the pros and cons, the paper focuses on the underlying factors that determine the preference and suitability of each sourcing option. In addition, with the note that numerous companies are switching to do business on a global basis, we attempt to use China as an example to examine global sourcing from the standpoints of both buyer and supplier.
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