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Fisher College of Business

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About the course

Strategic Sourcing for Value

There are many types of strategic sourcing decisions, including make vs. buy, offshore vs. onshore, and selecting between suppliers or vendors in various locations. In most of these cases, the decisions involve multiple relevant dimensions and are made under both uncertainty and risk.

Some performance dimensions, like per-unit cost and shipping, are relatively easy to measure. Harder-to-evaluate factors such as future innovation capability and responsiveness, are often more important than cost.

In this half-day workshop, Professors Gray and Helper will take participants through the following topics:

  • Evolution of the sophistication of decision making in procurement, from per-unit price, to total landed cost, to total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Challenges of implementing TCO-based decision making in practice
  • Tools to incorporate measurable risk in decision making, including an introduction to Monte Carlo simulation
  • Tools to incorporate uncertainty, or non-measurable dimensions, including a discussion of heuristic decision making
  • A new approach to sourcing decision-making that addresses many of the challenges inherent in TCO

Who should attend

This will be an interactive half-day session, targeted toward sourcing, procurement, purchasing, and supply chain managers. General managers will also benefit from the insights.

Trust the experts

John Gray

John Gray is an associate professor of operations. He joined Fisher after receiving his PhD from the KenanFlagler Business School at the University of North CarolinaChapel Hill. Prior to pursuing his PhD, he worked for eight years in operations management at Procter & Gamble, receiving an MBA...


Susan Helper

Susan Helper, PhD, is the Frank Tracy Carlton Professor of Economics at Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University. She served as the Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Commerce from 2013-2015, and as Senior Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisors i...


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