University of Twente Student Theses


International supplier search and selection

Groenewoud, Ruud Jelte van (2010) International supplier search and selection.

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Abstract:The purpose of this study was to model the international search and selection process for new suppliers of mechanical components. Beforehand it was assumed purchasing managers include knowledge about geographical clusters of potential suppliers in their search, and the study was aimed at discovering if and how this practice relates to the overall search and selection process. A conceptual model was developed from relevant theory. The study used the qualitative method of semi-structured interviews to test this conceptual model. Interviews were held in March 2010 with eight respondents active in the (international) purchasing of mechanical components. The interviews examined whether the knowledge about clusters of suppliers of mechanical components was included in the search and selection process. The analysis of regions and the practice of searching for suppliers and the selection process of suppliers were also addressed in the questions. Results of the study indicate that clusters are included in the search and selection process of suppliers. The results indicate that a search for clusters and subsequent cluster analysis are the steps of the location search process. After search and analysis, a focused supplier search within the most attractive cluster is carried out. Coexisting to the cluster search and attached supplier search, a general supplier search is carried out representing the more general efforts for finding suppliers. The purchaser’s network serves as most important source for the largest part of the information in these processes, and much of the knowledge is tacit and is not applied consciously during the search. With regard to the supplier selection criteria, a new criterion is found: the click-factor. This factor incorporates a purchaser’s feeling when analyzing potential suppliers. Because of the intangible nature, but significant influence in the decisional process of supplier selection, the click-factor emerged as one of the most important findings of this study. The study finds that on the basis of the proposed criteria the interviewees sort suppliers (qualification) and make a final decision from which supplier to purchase (final supplier selection). The results indicated clusters are included in international supplier search and selection. The principal conclusion was that the model seems appropriate for finding international suppliers of mechanical components. However, it is only applicable in the context of multiple suppliers having more or less the same competencies. Nevertheless, the study finds interesting results on the practice of international supplier search and selection, and finally, the study adds to the field of supplier selection criteria. The improved model is depicted in Figure 1: Proposed model.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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