A web-based supplier evaluation tool for the product development process

Paul Humphreys, George Huang, Trevor Cadden

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Research studies have revealed that supplier involvement in the design process is not widely practised. Aims to discuss the lack of an appropriate customer-supplier interface to assess the suitability of suppliers with reference to design criteria. Design/methodology/approach - The paper proposes a mechanism for evaluating supplier involvement during product development. The assessment tool includes four types of indices to measure supplier involvement in design, namely: satisfaction index, flexibility index, risk index, and confidence index. These indices measure the extent to which both the customer requirements and the supplier capabilities match or mismatch and therefore reflect the potential or risk of signing a project contract. Findings - Analysis within a multinational telecommunications company indicates that the selection methodology assists in reducing the product development timeframe since it automates the evaluation process and provides the procurement team with a flexible and responsive tool for assessing prospective suppliers. Research limitations/implications - Additional work is required to investigate the integration of other design factors, such as accessibility, degree of innovation and relationship type. Practical implications - The methodology has been refined and a prototype internet site has been developed to demonstrate a proof-of-the-concept. A number of benefits and limitations of the system are identified. Originality/value - First, it identifies the need to define design-related criteria for supplier involvement during the product development process. Second, a methodology is proposed which takes into consideration the ability of suppliers to provide solutions beyond the requirements specified by the customer and provides a mechanism for measuring the degree of uncertainty or risk associated with using a supplier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-163
Number of pages17
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Product development
  • Supplier evaluation
  • Supply chain management
  • Worldwide web

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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