Merijn Linthorst

Ir. M.M. Linthorst


Universiteit Twente
Postbus 217
7500 AE Enschede

Merijn Linthorst is a PhD student at the University of Twente (Enschede). The research project he is working on is called: Supporting decisions in multiple sourcing.

PhD research

Securing supply, economies of scale, creation of supplier motivation: all theoretical advantages of single sourcing. Creating competition, spreading risks, focus on innovation: all theoretical advantages of multiple sourcing. Multiple sourcing is called a strategy to obtain a service or good from more than one supplier. Organizations face multiple sourcing decisions in business practice. Help is provided by purchasing literature, which lists pro’s and con’s when choosing for one or more suppliers. But all this help is in terms of: ‘multiple sourcing is more suitable, when…’ or ‘consider extending your supply base, if…’. There is no formal decision aid, let alone theory, on when to use multiple sourcing or how many sources to use in these cases.

The overall goal of this project is to investigate, analyse, model and improve the decision-making on single/multiple sourcing. To achieve this goal we will research the following subjects during the project:

  • When should single or multiple sourcing be considered?
  • What is the optimal number of suppliers in the sourcing base?
  • How should the volume be allocated between the multiple suppliers?
  • How to divide your attention to the different sourcing bases?
  • When to change suppliers in the sourcing base?


  • Linthorst M.M. (2004), Aandacht besteden aan aanbesteden, Master Thesis, The Hague.