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Modeling supplier selection in the era of Industry 4.0

Nitin Sachdeva (Department of Data & Analytics, Protiviti India Member Firm, Gurugram, India)
Avinash K. Shrivastava (Department of IT, QT & Operations, International Management Institute, Kolkata, India)
Ankur Chauhan (Department of Operations & SCM, Indian Institute of Management Bodh Gaya, Bodh Gaya, India)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 11 June 2019

Issue publication date: 21 May 2021




The problem of evaluating potential suppliers has always been based on finding an optimal tradeoff between supplier’s performance consistently meeting firms’ needs and acceptable cost. The purpose of this paper is to propose a hybrid multi-criteria decision framework to quantify this qualitative judgment and reduce ambiguity in selection of suppliers in the era of Industry 4.0.


A hybrid intuitionistic fuzzy entropy weight-based multi-criteria decision model with TOPSIS is proposed. The authors make use of the intuitionistic fuzzy weighted approach operator for aggregating individual decision maker’s opinions regarding each alternative over every criterion. Additionally, the authors employ the concept of Shannon’s entropy to calculate the criteria weights.


Results obtained on the basis of the proposed hybrid methodology are analyzed against two more cases wherein the authors try to showcase the relevance of using IFS and entropy-based decision framework and find out the uniqueness of the proposed framework in supplier selection process.

Practical implications

The proposed model is apposite to solve management problem of supplier selection in two ways: aggregating individual decision maker’s opinion for each of the predefined criteria along with individual decision maker’s importance and ranking the suppliers based on both positive and negative ideal solutions using TOPSIS.


A robust framework incorporates not only suppliers’ performance but also provides weightage to key decision makers. Especially in the context of MCDMs wherein both qualitative and quantitative data is evaluated simultaneously, the proposed framework is unique in its practical implementation of reducing ambiguity in the supplier selection process.



Sachdeva, N., Shrivastava, A.K. and Chauhan, A. (2021), "Modeling supplier selection in the era of Industry 4.0", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 1809-1836.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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