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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 7430248, 9 pages
Research Article

Supplier Selection by Coupling-Attribute Combinatorial Analysis

School of Management, The State Key Laboratory for Manufacturing System Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xinyu Sun; nc.ude.utjx@nus.uynix

Received 14 May 2017; Revised 5 September 2017; Accepted 14 September 2017; Published 25 October 2017

Academic Editor: Danielle Morais

Copyright © 2017 Xinyu Sun. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Increasing reliance on outsourcing has made supplier selection a critical success factor for a supply chain/network. In addition to cost, the synergy among product components and supplier selection criteria should be considered holistically during the supplier selection process. This paper shows this synergy using coupled-attribute analysis. The key coupling attributes, including total cost, quality, delivery reliability, and delivery lead time of the final product, are identified and formulated. A max-max model is designed to assist the selection of the optional combination of suppliers. The results are compared with the individual supplier selection. Management insights are also discussed.