A four-phase AHP-QFD approach for supplier assessment: A sustainability perspective

Jing Dai, Jennifer Blackhurst

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

184 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, companies have become increasingly aware of the need to evaluate suppliers from a sustainability perspective. Introducing the triple bottom line (economic, social, and environmental performance) into supplier assessment and selection decisions embeds a new set of trade-offs, complicating the decision-making process. Although many tools have been developed to help purchasing managers make more effective decisions, decision support tools, and methodologies which integrate sustainability (triple bottom line) into supplier assessment and selection are still sparse in the literature. Moreover, most approaches have not taken into consideration the impact of business objectives and requirements of company stakeholders on the supplier evaluation criteria. To help advance this area of research and further integrate sustainability into the supplier selection modelling area, we develop an integrated analytical approach, combining Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) with Quality Function Deployment (QFD), to enable the 'voice' of company stakeholders in the process. Drawing on the sustainable purchasing strategy development process, our AHP-QFD approach comprises four hierarchical phases: linking customer requirements with the company's sustainability strategy, determining the sustainable purchasing competitive priority, developing sustainable supplier assessment criteria, and lastly assessing the suppliers. An illustrative example is provided to demonstrate the application of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5474-5490
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Analytical hierarchy process
  • Quality function deployment
  • Supply management
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'A four-phase AHP-QFD approach for supplier assessment: A sustainability perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this