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NGO's Supplier Selection and Procurement Cost Reduction with Multi-dimensional Auctions

Supply Chain Management and Logistics in Emerging Markets

ISBN: 978-1-83909-333-3, eISBN: 978-1-83909-331-9

Publication date: 20 November 2020


Supplier selection is a complex and strategic activity needed in every organization, involving many stakeholders and different attributes as price, delivery performance, and product quality. Globalization, in the last decades, increased the competitiveness between vendors, enhancing the use of decision models to support the best choice based on optimizations and bidding variations due to specific needs. This chapter presents three models of multi-dimensional auctions to improve an international humanitarian NGO process procurement efficiency by reducing procurement costs and the decision-making process time. These models have the advantage to be easily implementable in typically complex environments where there is a large number of categories, suppliers, and other features.

The first proposed model uses combinatorial auctions and is suited for procurement, where suppliers can benefit from cost complementarity. The second one uses volume discount auctions and is suited for volumetric purchases, where discounts for large quantities are common. The third one is a multi-attribute model, which computes the best possible solution considering several criteria and can be used in case of complex purchases that involve various categories and trade-offs and are subject to spot prices.

Several design considerations for this type of auctions are reviewed, as well as the mathematical formulation to determine the best alternative (i.e., winner) that can be solved using simple tools like Microsoft Excel. The models are optimized by a mixed-integer programming, and the multi-attribute one is developed using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). All three models developed in this research showed superior results compared to the baseline, being between 9% and 20% more efficient than a regular supplier selection (singly choosing the lowest price) and improving the bidding compliance.




The authors thank Marylou Chenu for her research at the Center for Innovation in Logistics Systems at USP (Chenu, 2017), where this chapter is partially based.


Giacon, J., de Brito, I. and Yoshizaki, H. (2020), "NGO's Supplier Selection and Procurement Cost Reduction with Multi-dimensional Auctions", Yoshizaki, H.T.Y., Mejía Argueta, C. and Mattos, M.G. (Ed.) Supply Chain Management and Logistics in Emerging Markets, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 41-59.



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