Multi-criteria supplier segmentation using a fuzzy preference relations based AHP
One of the strategic activities of a firm is supplier segmentation, whereby a firm creates groups of suppliers to handle them differently. Existing literature provides several typologies of suppliers, each of which uses different dimensions/variables. In this paper, different typologies are combined by distinguishing two overarching dimensions, the capabilities and the willingness of suppliers to cooperate with a particular firm. These dimensions cover almost all the existing supplier segmentation criteria mentioned in existing literature. For each particular situation, these dimensions can be specified using a multi-criteria decision-making method. A methodology is proposed that includes a fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) which uses fuzzy preference relations to incorporate the ambiguities and uncertainties that usually exist in human judgment. The proposed methodology is used to segment the suppliers of a broiler company. The result is a segmentation of suppliers based on two aggregated dimensions. Finally some strategies to handle different segments are discussed and concluding remarks and suggestions for future research are provided.
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