Selecting foreign distributors: An expert systems approach
by Cavusgil, S.Tamer, Poh-Lin Yeoh, Michel Mitri
Industrial Marketing Management 24, no. 4 (1995): 297–304
Distributor selection is one of the most important choices a manufacturer will make in exporting. Foreign distributors or agents carry on the responsibility of marketing the manufacturer’s product and servicing customers in the local market. The characteristics that contribute to successful distributors are numerous, making it imperative for manufacturers to employ a systematic approach to selection. This article introduces a computer- aided decision support tool for qualifying potential distributors. The tool, developed as an expert system, provides the user with an interactive algorithm for arriving at reasonable conclusions. In-depth interviews with experienced international business executives led to the development of a comprehensive set of selection criteria. These criteria and related insights form the basis of discussion in the article.