Supply chain management and particularly the significance of vendors as a strategic decision making tool.
The case is suitable for use in the following courses: MBA programs with specialisation in operations management where it can be used to teach students the significance of vendor selection and vendor rating in supply chain management (SCM); marketing research in management where it can be used to highlight the concept of multi attribute utility theory (MAUT) and its application; advanced statistics for multi criteria decision making (MCDM); and MBA/post graduate programs in management in strategic management where it can be used to introduce the concept of SWOT analysis and Porter’s five forces model. An understanding of business process improvement will enable students get a comprehensive view about the case.
This case showcases the concepts of MCDM and SCM in manufacturing industry. The company wanted to select vendors and rate them in each category of raw materials in order to have a competitive advantage over competitors. Since there are multiple attributes (often contradictory in nature) based on which the vendors would be selected Kaul, Vice-President, Commercial uses multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) to help solve the problem. The case has implications for manufacturing industry in selecting vendors to meet a raw materials need.
Expected learning outcomes
The case can be used to understand management concepts such as market research, supply chain management and multi criteria decision making. It can be used to: teach complexities involved in identifying attributes for vendor selection and vendor rating; help understand supply chain management in business process improvement; help students understand the application of MCDM; and help MBA students studying marketing research. The case will also be useful to students in understanding the application of MCDM in operations management. Some knowledge about cigarette manufacturing will help students to realize the depth of the case.