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Analyzing supplier development program enablers using fuzzy DEMATEL

Srikanta Routroy (Associate Professor, based at Mechanical Engineering Department, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India)
C.V. Sunil Kumar (Mechanical Engineering Department, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, India)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 11 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to identify, quantify and establish relationship (i.e. cause and effect) among various supplier development program enablers (SDPEs) in a specific manufacturing environment.


The proposed methodology runs into four phases, i.e. defining supplier development program (SDP) environment, identifying relevant SDPEs, collecting experts’ qualitative opinions regarding SDPEs and analyzing the SDPEs using Fuzzy DEMATEL (Decision Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory). The fourth phase is programmed using Matlab 7.10.0 (R2010a). The proposed methodology is implemented in an Indian manufacturing company and the results are analyzed to provide directions for the company while implementing SDPs.


The proposed methodology leads to the ranking of SDPEs, classification of SDPEs into cause and effect groups and establishment of interactions for each SDPE using impact relationship map. Of the 20 SDPEs considered in the analysis, “top management commitment” and “mutual visits by competent personnel from both sides” are the two most important SDPEs for implementing SDP in an Indian manufacturing company taken as a case study. The outcomes are verified by consulting the said company’s experts and their validity is confirmed.

Research limitations/implications

Because the results obtained are specific to a manufacturing environment, they cannot be generalized. However, the proposed approach can be adopted for analyzing SDPEs in any manufacturing environment, provided the set of SDPEs is selected considering its priorities.

Practical implications

The proposed methodology will identify the SDPEs to be managed for successful implementation of SDPs.


The proposed methodology has the capability to rank the SDPEs and their interrelationships. This will definitely help supply chain managers to precisely choose and manipulate the SDPEs for successful implementation of SDP.



The authors are immensely grateful and appreciate the anonymous referees for their invaluable comments. Authors also would like to express deep sense of gratitude and acknowledge the financial support received from the University Grants Commission (UGC), New Delhi, India [Research Project No. 42-892/2013 (SR)] for carrying out the current research.


Routroy, S. and Sunil Kumar, C.V. (2014), "Analyzing supplier development program enablers using fuzzy DEMATEL", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 18 No. 4, pp. 1-26.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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