Repository logo

Operational framework for healthcare supplier selection under a fuzzy multi-criteria environment

Published version


Conference Object

Change log


Goh, Mark 
De Souza, Robert 


PURPOSE: This paper studies how a logistics service provider managing the suppliers for several hospitals can innovatively improve the supplier selection process. The paper examines the attribute set for healthcare supplier selection such as response time, reliability, stock quantity, in order to realize optimal cube utilization, cost, and customer satisfaction. This operational framework developed can help a logistics service provider in supplier order management based on the selected criteria set, criteria weight calculation, and supplier ranking under a fuzzy multi-criteria decision making (MCDM) environment. DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH: We adopt a multi-objective decision making approach based on three main criteria of service, cost, and disruption risk. The following modelling approaches are used – (i) the criteria weight are found using fuzzy AHP, and (ii) the ranking of the suppliers are found through fuzzy TOPSIS. FINDINGS: Sometimes a logistics service provider needs to include multiple suppliers for one product instead of the current single supplier policy, in order to share the risks especially when dealing with public health emergencies and uncertainty in disruptions. VALUE: This is a practical industrial problem dealing with various facets of MCDM being applied on actual data, so as to bring to bear the actual challenges of using MCDM in dealing with healthcare supplier management. RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS: Some future extensions and current limitations of this work will include the sole suppliers, namely, suppliers who are exclusive providers of certain unique products mandated by the healthcare regulators, and to include the effects of shelf life and perishability into the products such as the biodegradable sutures. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: This study can help the healthcare logistics service provider to use data judiciously to select and manage the suppliers optimally, without the unnecessary incurrence of buffer stock at the warehouse, which can lead a high degree of obsolescence.



Journal Title

Proceedings of the 23rd International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2018)

Conference Name

The 23rd International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2018)

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



All rights reserved