Supply chain modeling: A case study of relationship attributes

Michael Wisma, Purdue University


Purchasing Departments in higher education organizations are moving away from traditional single exchange transactions toward an emphasis on creating and maintaining long-term buyer-supplier relationships. As strategic partners, these relationships generate a supply chain that must be managed. They encompass all the activities associated with the flow of goods and services, as well as the flow of information. Information throughout the entire organization must simultaneously flow both up and down the supply chain to leverage strategic positioning and to improve efficiencies. For organizations to obtain sustainability in the future they must develop a strategy for creating, maintaining, and sustaining buyer/supplier relationships based on institutional requirements. As stated by a Vice-President of the Boston Consulting Group, “As the economy changes, as competition becomes more global, it is no longer company versus company but supply chain versus supply chain” (Henkoff, 1994:74). In this thesis a model to manage supply chain relationships is generated based on a case study of a purchasing department in higher education. The model is based on a theoretical framework that was generated from a case study of a major university and research center and was validated by literature reviewed for this research. This university has multi-campus locations and a large purchasing organization.




Tomovic, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Management|School administration

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