Abstract The technique for order preference by similarity to ideal solution (TOPSIS) is a well-known multi-attribute decision making (MADM) method that is used to identify the most attractive alternative solution among a finite set of alternatives based on the simultaneous minimization of the distance from an ideal solution (IS) and the maximization of the distance from the nadir solution (NS). We propose an alternative compromise ratio method (CRM) using an efficient and powerful distance measure for solving the group MADM problems. In the proposed CRM, similar to TOPSIS, the chosen alternative should be simultaneously as close as possible to the IS and as far away as possible from the NS. The conventional MADM problems require well-defined and precise data; however, the values associated with the parameters in the real-world are often imprecise, vague, uncertain or incomplete. Fuzzy sets provide a powerful tool for dealing with the ambiguous data. We capture the decision makers’ (DMs’) judgments with linguistic variables and represent their importance weights with fuzzy sets. The fuzzy group MADM (FGMADM) method proposed in this study improves the usability of the CRM. We integrate the FGMADM method into a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis framework to show the applicability of the proposed method in a solar panel manufacturing firm in Canada.