PUGH matrix- Decision Matrix

When PUGH matrix (also called decision matrix) was developed by Stuart Pugh (he was head of design division at the University of Starathclyde in Glasglow, it was primarily developed as a decision model or decision matrix or problem solving matrix. It helps to choose between list of different alternatives.

A Pugh matrix is used to evaluate various alternatives against a baseline. For example, in the following example in next pages, it is used to evaluate whether the new suppliers to choose are better than the current supplier based on the important points of consideration and value of each points.

Besides Pugh Matrix and Decision matrix, it is also known by the name such as Grid Analysis, Pugh Matrix Analysis, and Multi-Attribute Utility Theory)

 PUGH matrix (Decision Matrix) Procedure

  1. Brainstorm which ideas to look for in selection of different items.
  2. Put a ranking in order of importance of that particular item.
  3. Evaluate each choice against the criteria. There are three ways to do this:

Method 1: Establish a rating scale for each criterion. Some options are:

  • 1, 2, 3 (1 = slight extent, 2 = some extent, 3 = great extent)
  • 1, 2, 3 (1 = low, 2 = medium, 3 = high)
  • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (1 = little to 5 = great)
  • 1, 4, 9 (1 = low, 4 = moderate, 9 = high)Make sure that your rating scales are consistent. Word your criteria and set the scales so that the high end of the scale (5 or 3) is always the rating that would tend to make you select that option: most impact on customers, greatest importance, least difficulty, greatest likelihood of success.

Method 2, Pugh matrix (Decision Matrix): Establish a baseline, which may be one of the alternatives or the current product or service. For each criterion, rate each other alternative in comparison to the baseline, using scores of worse (–1), same (0), or better (+1). Finer rating scales can be used, such as 2, 1, 0, –1, –2 for a five-point scale or 3, 2, 1, 0, –1, –2, –3 for a seven-point scale. Again, be sure that positive numbers reflect desirable ratings.

  1. Multiply each option’s rating by the weight. Add the points for each option. The option with the highest score will not necessarily be the one to choose, but the relative scores can generate meaningful discussion and lead the team toward consensus.

Simulated Case Study

A company wants to perform a vendor validation for determining which vendor would be the best among 7 different vendors to choose from for a particular raw material. The company is already in tie with a vendor ‘V’ for purchase. The use of PUGH matrix helps to determine which vendor would perform same, more or less performance.

Following criteria has been used in vendor evaluation:

  • Quality
  • Delivery time
  • Discount
  • Communication ease
  • Compliant with standards
  • Information to date
  • Cost
  • Innovation
  • Relationship
  • Packaging
  • Transportation
  • Trustworthiness
  • Managerial and technical issues
  • Act as team players
  • Exceed the expectations

For those vendor which we rate exactly the same number (having same level of performance) is marked as S. For those vendors whose performance is higher, we mark as “+”. For those vendors, whose performance is lower, we mark as “-“. We sum the +ves and -ves and caculate the total sum of positives with total sum of negatives.

The final weighted difference gives the real value of the vendor. Here, with PUGH analysis we saw that vendors A-E are not even better than the present vendor hence, we can leave them. On the other hand vendors G and F having the positive difference are better than the vendor we are purchasing at present. If we have to choose only one vendor based on this approach we would select vendor G as it has the maximum weightage of difference.

Pugh matrix or decision matrix case study-

  Key Criteria Weight Supplier A Supplier B Supplier C Supplier D Supplier E Supplier F Supplier G Current Baseline
  Quality 5 + + SAME (S) + + SAME (S) SAME (S)
  Timely deliver 5 SAME (S) + SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S)
  Discount 2 SAME (S) SAME (S) + + SAME (S) + SAME (S)
  Easy with communication 4 SAME (S) + + SAME (S)
  compliant with standards 3 + + + + SAME (S)
  keeps information up to date 3 SAME (S) + SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S)
  cost 4 SAME (S) + + + SAME (S)
  shows new innovation 3 + SAME (S) + + SAME (S)
  Proactive atitude/ relationship 3 SAME (S) + + SAME (S) + SAME (S)
  Good packaging 3 SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S) + SAME (S)
  Good transportation 4 + SAME (S) SAME (S) + SAME (S) SAME (S)
  Other managerial and technical issue 5 SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S) SAME (S)
  Trustworthy 5 + SAME (S) SAME (S) + SAME (S) + SAME (S)
  Acts as team players 5 + + SAME (S) + SAME (S)
  Exceed customer expectations 4 + + SAME (S) + SAME (S) SAME (S)
  Sum of Positives (+): 4 5 5 4 4 6 8  
  Sum of Negatives(-): 5 7 6 6 7 2 2  
  Sum of Sames (S): 6 3 4 5 4 7 5  
  Positives – Negatives: -1 -2 -1 -2 -3 4 6  
  Weighted Sum of Positives (+): 17 22 18 12 17 23 28  
  Weighted Sum of Negatives (-): 19 27 25 24 26 9 7  
  Weighted Sum of Sames (S): 22 9 15 22 15 26 23  
  Weighted Positives – Weighted Negatives: -2 -5 -7 -12 -9 14 21  
    -3 -1 -4 -5 -1 5 0

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