Global supplier selection: A fuzzy-AHP approach

Tung Sun Chan, N. Kumar, M. K. Tiwari, H. C.W. Lau, King Lun Tommy Choy

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

547 Citations (Scopus)


Global supplier selection has a critical effect on the competitiveness of the entire supply chain network. Research results indicate that the supplier selection process appears to be the most significant variable in deciding the success of the supply chain. It helps in achieving high quality products at lower cost with higher customer satisfaction. Apart from the common criteria such as cost and quality, this paper also discusses some of the important decision variables which can play a critical role in case of the international sourcing. The importance of the political-economic situation, geographical location, infrastructure, financial background, performance history, risk factors, etc., have also been pointed out in particularly in the case of global supplier selection. Supplier selection problem related to the global sourcing is more complex than the general domestic sourcing and as a result it needs more critical analysis, which could not be found properly in past available literatures. This paper discusses the fuzzy based Analytic Hierarchy Process (fuzzy-AHP) to efficiently tackle both quantitative and qualitative decision factors involved in selection of global supplier in current business scenario. The fuzzy-AHP is an efficient tool to tackle the fuzziness of the data involved in deciding the preferences of the different decision variables involved in the process of global supplier selection. The triangular fuzzy numbers are used to transform the linguistic comparison of the different decision criteria, sub-criteria and performance of the alternative suppliers. The pairwise comparison matrices help in deciding the synthetic extent value of each comparison and finally, the priority weights of one alternative over another are decided in this paper. An example from a manufacturing industry searching for the global supplier for a critical component is used to demonstrate the effective implementation procedure of proposed fuzzy-AHP technique. The proposed model can provide the guidelines and directions for the decision makers to effectively select their global suppliers in the current competitive business scenario.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3825-3857
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008


  • Analytic hierarchy process
  • Fuzzy logic
  • Global supplier selection
  • Multi-attribute decision making problem
  • Supply chain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Global supplier selection: A fuzzy-AHP approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this