Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Spring 2006


Dundar Kocaoglu

Course Title

Project Management in Engineering and Technology

Course Number

ETM 545/645


Project management, Technology -- Management, Vendors and purchasers -- Management, Contracting out -- Decision making


Regardless of industry type –service or manufacturing- selecting the most fitting material, component, or parts supplier is indeed a major challenge for modern business. A careful deliberate and effective selection process resulting in the most appropriate choice can literally bring success to the entire enterprise, and the opposite is quite true. Vendor selection process is one of the most widely-researched areas in the field of purchasing and outsourcing. The pioneering work of Dickson in 1968 laid the foundation for a disciplined approach to the problem. His benchmark study rank-ordered the top 23 selection criteria according to their relative importance based on responses of purchasing agents and managers to a research questionnaire. The next major research concerning criteria order came in 1991 when Weber et al reviewed 74 articles to update and validate Dickson’s conclusions. Weber confirmed the status of a few criteria, pointed out the importance gained by others and indicated the absorption of a few into others. The research literature from 1991 to date is rich with useful topics. The strategic dimension of the selection process appears to be of considerable interest and reflects a major change in the arena of purchasing, outsourcing and vendor/partner selection. However, none of the past or recent work known to our team has been broad enough to cover the three facets of the topic: relative criteria ranking, qualitatively criteria description and multi objective quantitative selection modeling. This is what our paper seeks to deliver. It is intended as a practical introductory guide to professionals (particularly project managers) dealing with the challenge of vendor selection for the first time.


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