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limited scope of the practical findings achieved through this study can actually serve as a foundation for developing agricultural specific sourcing strategies in the future. In order to fully establish a theoretical foundation that companies purchasing agricultural commodities can rely on, similar natured studies that take into account multiple cases should be conducted.

within the purchasing portfolio matrix, the agriculture-specific purchasing approaches identified in literature were plotted in each respective quadrant. The additional considerations of regulations, technological factors, logistics, and customer preferences were also evinced as well as the importance of considering supplier perspectives. Specifically, the Dutch Windmill Model (Van Weele, 2009) was proposed as the tool to utilize when taking into account the implications that buyer and seller power positions and interdependencies can have upon the development of sourcing strategies.

Data from CT was then collected and presented on the two categories of frozen potatoes and dairy. The analysis explicitly compared the theoretical framework and specifically the structure, content, and objectives of the theoretical models proposed to the ones utilized by CT. The overall findings that emerged from the comparison made include the fact that CT rather than relying on a step-by-step framework such as the strategic sourcing process prescribed by Handfield et al. (2011), utilizes the category strategy development process as a working document.

Regarding the application of the purchasing portfolio model, CT utilizes a comparable matrix and refers it as the product portfolio matrix, however the actual application of the model deviates to some extent from theory. In fact, the supply risks considered are largely supplier specific and agricultural-specific risks are not directly utilized within the matrix. Instead, such risks are implicitly considered through the establishment of the categories and taken into account on a continuous basis. Additionally, risks are prioritized and selected individually by buyers and no selection method is used.

Overall, it was observed that the application of the matrix is not only to a large extent buyer specific, but that the intent of the model is not fully exploited by CT. In other words, the product portfolio matrix is not utilized for the determination of sourcing strategies on a quadrant level.

Regardless of where products are positioned in the matrix the buyer in question individually decides upon a sourcing strategy on a category level and the manner in which products are purchased. The main sourcing approaches that CT relies on include e-auctions, competitive tendering, alliances and partnerships, short-term and long-term contracts, open-end contracts, as well as fixed-based contracts.

CT takes into account the perspectives of its suppliers through the supplier view matrix, which is in essence based upon the Dutch Windmill model proposed by Van Weele (2009).

However, rather than considering suppliers separately and respective to each quadrant (leverage, strategic, bottleneck, and routine) CT evaluates all its supplier at once through the matrix. Overall, a large emphasis is given to suppliers and this also applies to possible strategic movements, which are considered through the supplier view matrix to a much greater extent than on a product basis through the product portfolio matrix.

The results that emerged from the comparisons made in the analysis were then discussed and it was evinced that the motivations for utilizing these models on the part of CT arose from a buyer demand for greater personal and professional development. According to the strategic buyer, the advantages of adopting these models outweigh the disadvantages. The advantages include a greater awareness of details that could have previously been overlooked and the ability to identify gaps and generate valuable conclusions. However, one challenge of applying the framework and models is that entails a high degree of customization and this can be challenging to do.

Overall, it is concluded that the strategic sourcing process and the matrices outlined can be applied not only across various industries, but also to the purchasing of agricultural commodities.

This is largely due to the generic nature of the models and as shown through the case on CT, these models are rendered applicable through customization. Nonetheless, the fact that supply risks are chosen solely on an individual buyer basis increases the bias and subjectivity of the usage of the model and it can be questioned whether the application of the product portfolio model is aligned between buyers. This thesis thus recommends that buyers collectively decide upon a set of generic supply risks that can be applied across categories. Additionally, buyers of similar categories should decide upon category and agriculture-specific supply risks to use within the product portfolio matrix in order to further decrease subjectivity and increase the ability to consider relevant risks in a proactive manner.

Most importantly, the fact that CT does not utilize the product portfolio matrix for the theoretical intended purpose of developing sourcing strategies contributes to the un-clarity of CT’s usage of the model. This un-clarity is further confirmed through the fact that CT does not consider

suppliers for products situated in each quadrant individually but rather considers all its suppliers together through the supplier view matrix. Consequently, it is largely ambiguous for what exactly CT utilizes the product portfolio matrix for and the link that it actually serves to the supplier view matrix. This erroneous usage of the matrices might be contributing to the challenges the buyer is currently experiencing in managing the complex category of dairy products.

As a result, this thesis recommends that for complex categories, buyers should develop separate sourcing strategies for products and consider suppliers on an individual quadrant basis.

Furthermore, it would be recommendable to also do this for products positioned in the leverage and strategic quadrants, in order to maximize opportunities for strategic exploitation and relationship management. Lastly, it is recommended that similar natured studies are pursued using multiple cases in order to contribute to the validity of these findings and to strengthen the theoretical foundation that buyers of agricultural commodities can rely on.


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Appendix 1: Overview on the Development of Purchasing Portfolio