Any good global sourcing strategy must address the issue of "location, location, location." But how to evaluate a location and find the best fit for an organization's specific need is the million-dollar question.
This is a difficult challenge for all supply management professionals, and especially for those without a global network of advisers on hand. What, then, can these professionals do to evaluate a location and find the best fit for their organization's need? This is the focus of the Decision Support Model (DSM).
The DSM emerged from a graduate research project at the University of Wisconsin--Madison's Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management. A real-world client required a means by which it could assess worldwide locations for consistency with its operational needs. This demanded an objective analysis of many location-specific factors, and the flexibility to assess each location independently. An additional difficulty was that most of the available analysis regarding location-specific factors required an expensive purchase of data and statistical resources, or consulting services. Furthermore, the analysis offered little, if any, flexibility for distinctive comparison to the criteria the client gave for seeking to outsource. This was a persistent problem.
The team's way of proceeding involved debating a straightforward question: Can a supply management professional develop a clear list of fact-based data to define and measure the attractiveness of locations without a global network of advisers on hand, an expensive purchase or access to large university research collections?
Source: Inside Supply Management, http://www.ism.ws
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