Purpose – Near sourcing is starting to be regarded as a valid alternative to global sourcing in order to leverage supply chain (SC) responsiveness and economic efficiency. The present work proposes a decision‐making approach developed in collaboration with a leading Italian retailer that was willing to turn the global store furniture procurement process into near sourcing. Design/methodology/approach – Action research is employed. The limitations of the traditional SC organisation and purchasing process of the company are first identified. On such basis, an inventory management model is applied to run spreadsheet estimates where different purchasing and SC management strategies are adopted to determine the solution providing the lowest cost performance. Finally, a risk analysis of the selected best SC arrangement is conducted and results are discussed. Findings – Switching from East Asian suppliers to continental vendors enables a SC reengineering that increases flexibility and responsiveness to demand uncertainty which, together with decreased transportation costs, assures economic viability, thus proving the benefits of near sourcing. Research limitations/implications – The decision‐making framework provides a methodological roadmap to address the comparison between near and global sourcing policies and to calculate the savings of the former against the latter. The approach could include additional organisational aspects and cost categories impacting on near sourcing and could be adapted to investigate different products, services, and business sectors. Originality/value – The work provides SC researchers and practitioners with a structured approach for understanding what drives companies to adopt near sourcing and for quantitatively assessing its advantages.
Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 22, 2012
Keywords: Supply chain management; Purchasing; Near sourcing; Store furniture; Decision making; Sourcing