business strategy, case study, eco-friendly, location, operation management, technology

Document Type

Proceedings Abstract



Supplier Collaborative and Ethical Consideration in the Vendor Selection Process


This examination of location strategy implementation by Pittsburgh-based service firms, particularly eco-friendly initiatives, was pursued via a case-study approach. The factors selected for comparison were site size and cost; air, rail, highway, and waterway systems; zoning restrictions; proximity to markets/suppliers/competitors; and environmental impact issues. The study included five service-based firms, most of which made decisions concerning new locations within the last few years, and highlighted those factors most significant in the location strategies of local service firms. Findings evidence proximity to market/suppliers/competitors was the most heavily weighted factor in site selection among Pittsburgh-based service firms. The least considered factor in site selection was economic impact. Further, while each firm practiced various eco-friendly initiatives, those initiatives were largely intended to reduce firm costs rather than minimize environmental impact.

The present study suggests that using technology in conjunction with a solid supply chain and locational strategy contributes to a successful business operation. As e-commerce is only one segment of supply chain and location management, it is worthwhile to note that a complete supply chain strategy (as previously presented in the text) is necessary to improve business performance. The results of this study show that missing parts of a supply chain strategy will lead to an ineffective supply chain strategy. Ineffective implementation of any business strategy will contribute to failure to succeed.