U.S. Sourcing from Low-Cost Countries: A Comparative Analysis of Supplier Performance

Authors

  • Kusumal Ruamsook,

    1. visiting research scholar in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
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  • Dawn Russell,

    1. assistant professor of supply chain and information systems in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
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  • Evelyn Thomchick

    1. associate professor of supply chain management in the Smeal College of Business Administration at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
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  • This work was funded in part by a Doctoral Dissertation Grant awarded by the Institute for Supply Management. Additional support on survey preparation and execution was provided by the Center for Supply Chain Research in the Smeal College of Business at the Pennsylvania State University.

SUMMARY

Given the increase in sourcing from low-cost countries (LCCs), it is important to assess relative supplier performance across these regions. This work investigates the comparative performance of LCC suppliers on 14 operational indicators of international sourcing and supply chain performance. Using survey methods, the study addresses these two questions: (1) How do the LCC regions of Asia, the Western Hemisphere and Europe compare in terms of the 14 operational indicators?; and (2) How do LCC nations within these three regions compare with regard to the 14 operational indicators? Perceived differences exist among the regions of Asia, the Western Hemisphere and Europe, as well as among the LCC nations of these three regions. However, no one region outperforms the others, and no one nation outperforms the others, on all 14 operational indicators investigated. Accordingly, this study also identifies the key areas of comparative advantage and disadvantage that each LCC region and each LCC nation presents in its relationship with U.S. buying firms.

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