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An application of hybrid data envelopment analytical hierarchy process approach for supplier selection

Vinod Yadav (Production and Industrial Engineering, MBM Engineering College, JNV University, Jodhpur, India)
Milind Kumar Sharma (Production and Industrial Engineering, MBM Engineering College, JNV University, Jodhpur, India)

Journal of Enterprise Information Management

ISSN: 1741-0398

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The problem of supplier selection gets complicated when a company looks for various criteria to evaluate different suppliers. The decision criteria used for supplier selection process can be different for different organizations due to a large number of factors. Hence, it can be said that supplier selection is basically, a multiple criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem. The purpose of this paper is to propose a hybrid data envelopment analytical hierarchy process (DEAHP) approach to solve the supplier selection problem for an automobile company.


In this study, the data envelopment analysis (DEA) approach is embedded into analytic hierarchy process (AHP) methodology. Literature review suggested that majority of researches found it appropriate using DEA and AHP methodologies for supplier selection process; hence it is felt that a hybrid DEAHP would be a useful methodology to offer a MCDM model for supplier selection problem.


First, the key criteria of the supplier selection problem for the company are identified. Then a model is developed and implemented for supplier selection using DEAHP approach. This study concluded that quality, cost and service are the most crucial criteria for an automobile company operational in a developing country like India. Sensitivity analysis further helped to evaluate suppliers based on each criterion.

Research limitations/implications

As this analysis and findings are based on only one case study of an Indian automobile company, and this necessitates caution in interpreting the results. The limited number of interviewed managers in a company restricts the generalizability of the results. Though the company selected for this study is typical of developing country businesses, the findings of the paper may not be readily extensible to other companies. Second, this study used retrospective settings, based on the interviewed feedback after the events had occurred. This method naturally poses limitations due to respondent recall and the accuracy of information provided. Third, the problem chosen for this study is based in a single country context and further additional research will be required to examine if the findings could be extended to other automobile companies in other developing nations. Also in some cases technique used in the study may pose some extra computational efforts.

Practical implications

This study points out the importance of the supplier selection problem. It provides key criteria for supplier selection in Indian context also proposes a framework to deal with multiple criteria. proposed model deals with two crucial criteria long term relationships and flexibility which were relatively less discussed and considered in the literature in past.


The proposed MCDM model can provide the guidelines and directions for the decision makers to effectively choose suppliers in the current competitive environment.



The authors thank anonymous reviewers for their helpful and constructive comments.


Yadav, V. and Sharma, M.K. (2015), "An application of hybrid data envelopment analytical hierarchy process approach for supplier selection", Journal of Enterprise Information Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 218-242.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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