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Strategic sourcing: a combined QFD and AHP approach in manufacturing

William Ho (Operations and Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Prasanta K. Dey (Operations and Information Management Group, Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Martin Lockström (Global Center for Operations Research, China Europe International Business School, Shanghai, China)

Supply Chain Management

ISSN: 1359-8546

Article publication date: 27 September 2011




This paper aims to develop an integrated analytical approach, combining quality function deployment (QFD) and analytic hierarchy process (AHP) approach, to enhance the effectiveness of sourcing decisions.


In the approach, QFD is used to translate the company stakeholder requirements into multiple evaluating factors for supplier selection, which are used to benchmark the suppliers. AHP is used to determine the importance of evaluating factors and preference of each supplier with respect to each selection criterion.


The effectiveness of the proposed approach is demonstrated by applying it to a UK‐based automobile manufacturing company. With QFD, the evaluating factors are related to the strategic intent of the company through the involvement of concerned stakeholders. This ensures successful strategic sourcing. The application of AHP ensures consistent supplier performance measurement using benchmarking approach.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed integrated approach can be principally adopted in other decision‐making scenarios for effective management of the supply chain.

Practical implications

The proposed integrated approach can be used as a group‐based decision support system for supplier selection, in which all relevant stakeholders are involved to identify various quantitative and qualitative evaluating criteria, and their importance.


Various approaches that can deal with multiple and conflicting criteria have been adopted for the supplier selection. However, they fail to consider the impact of business objectives and the requirements of company stakeholders in the identification of evaluating criteria for strategic supplier selection. The proposed integrated approach outranks the conventional approaches to supplier selection and supplier performance measurement because the sourcing strategy and supplier selection are derived from the corporate/business strategy.



Ho, W., Dey, P.K. and Lockström, M. (2011), "Strategic sourcing: a combined QFD and AHP approach in manufacturing", Supply Chain Management, Vol. 16 No. 6, pp. 446-461.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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