oa Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management - The application of outsourcing decision-making methods in a logistics context in South Africa : original research



Companies have often relinquished the control of important business functions to outside suppliers for the sake of short-term savings and because of the lack of use of proper decision-making methods within the business.

This article identified three methods of decision-making and applied it to a logistics outsourcing problem. The logistics outsourcing problem consisted of a make-or-buy decision as well as a supplier selection process. The purpose of the study was to determine the most suitable method in the case of logistics outsourcing.
The decision-making methods were applied to a South African case study within the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. The logistics functions considered in the case study included secondary distribution and warehousing of finished goods. Each method considered the same evaluation criteria and the results were analysed and compared.
Each method produced different results to the logistics outsourcing problem. The method developed by Platts, Probert and Canez (2000) suggested that the logistics functions be in sourced. The decision tree method suggested outsourcing both functions, with a unit rate cost model. The results from the linear programming (LP) method indicated that the secondary distribution function should be in sourced and the warehousing function outsourced, with a fixed and variable cost model pending further analysis of the demand trends.
The study provides empirical evidence that proven outsourcing decision-making methods, such as the method developed by Platts (2000), the LP method and the decision tree method traditionally applied to a manufacturing outsourcing decision problem, can be adapted and applied to a logistics outsourcing decision problem of a South African FMCG company.


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