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Using grey relational analysis and TRIZ to identify KSFs and strategies for choosing importers and exporters An example of the Taiwanese hand‐tool industry

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the key success factors (KSFs) of purchasing decision making of overseas importers of Taiwanese products and the Taiwanese exporters; and second, to translate these KSFs into critical problems and formulate strategies to solve them. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use grey theory to identify the KSFs. In the end, 24 KSFs are obtained and changed into 22 critical problems. That is, the authors define what characteristics need to be improved for each critical problem and what characteristics could worsen (deteriorate) when the improved parameters are applied to solve the critical problems. Then, the authors use the TRIZ contradiction matrix to determine inventive principles they relate to and apply them to formulate the strategies for the hand‐tool industry. Findings – The study offers short‐, medium‐ and long‐term improvement strategies for companies in the hand‐tool industry in the area of purchasing decision making. Originality/value – The paper contributes in four ways. First, in understanding the overseas importers and the Taiwanese exporters' purchasing decision making with reference to the hand‐tool industry in Taiwan. Second, it determines B2B communication tools, which is a theoretical contribution of this paper to the literature. Third, companies in Taiwan and other countries can also apply strategies formulated in this research to solve similar problems. Finally, it simulates the critical problems and its solutions in the operations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing
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