Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)




Gene Fusch


Making good supply management decisions is essential to competing in the global market, as these decisions often account for more than 60% of the average company's total costs. The purpose for this single case study was to explore the strategy that a large manufacturing firm in northeast Ohio used to identify costs when making effective purchasing decisions. The total cost of ownership (TCO) theory was the conceptual framework for the study. The data collection included a semistructured interview with a senior level supply manager and a focus group consisting of mid-level supply managers. Member checking provided verification of the interpreted participants' responses. Methodological triangulation included 2 company documents pertinent to the supply management department that resulted in 4 emerging themes: identifying total costs, tools for implementing TCO, supplier rating and management, and detailed recordkeeping. The findings of this study revealed a simpler approach to capturing and organizing data than was acknowledged in the literature reviewed. The findings showed TCO supported purchasing decisions that often resulted in domestically or regionally purchased products rather than offshore buys. Therefore, reassessment of true total costs by senior manufacturing supply managers might impact social change as more procurement decisions forego sourcing offshore and bring manufacturing of products back to local communities.

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