انتقال از محصولات به راه حل: اکتشاف پشتیبانی سیستم در صنایع دفاعی بریتانیا
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|20121||2010||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9764 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 39, Issue 4, May 2010, Pages 582–592
This article explores the acquisition of business solutions in complex systems environments, through insights drawn from current literature and a study of the UK defense industry. We seek to counter-balance the dominance of literature focusing on the supplier perspective, as well as provide richer distinctions between different kinds of system suppliers involved in providing business solutions. We do this through the detailed examination of customer support offerings and business relationships that exist at the system customer–supplier interface. Our findings provide a map of solutions models that exist in the UK defense context. These include: (1) product system support, (2) life cycle product system support, (3) functional system support, and (4) enterprise system support. Using these models, we highlight the continued relevance of a product orientation and the challenges involved in adopting a true customer orientation when delivering business solutions. System suppliers seeking to reposition from the supply of product system support towards more integrated and customer-oriented forms of support require a significant organizational step change.
This article focuses on the acquisition of business solutions in complex systems environments. This includes aerospace, healthcare, telecommunications and defense industries, which are typically characterized as being high cost, large-scale and knowledge intensive. We specifically focus on large industrial system customers; examples include government run organizations such as the UK National Health Service or US Department of Defense or large private sector firms such as the British Airports Authority that are typically subject to government controls/regulations. Within specific industries, particularly at a national level, system customers dominate in their markets and are relatively few in number. Such organizations are responsible for integrating and managing a complex set of technical systems (i.e. railways, trains, infrastructure, IT, etc.) that form a fundamental part of the system customer's ability to deliver its core services ( Mayntz & Hughes, 1988). However, due to pressures such as the increasing complexity of technology, obsolescence and tighter budget constraints, many system customers are increasingly contracting for external ‘support’ to help them with their technical systems business, which in turn allows them to focus more on the provision of their core services. As opposed to traditional outsourcing, these system customers seek to work more effectively with their external partners/suppliers to (i) improve the organization of the customer's industrial activities, which technical systems are a part of, and (ii) improve the utility and/or performance of its core services to end users/final consumers (Geyer and Davies, 2000, Kelley and Hurst, 2006 and Pew and Mavor, 2007). To achieve this, system customers are transforming business relationships with system suppliers and are also seeking more advance forms of customer system support offerings, which go beyond the traditional transactional delivery of technical systems and often costly bolt-on support services to supply ongoing material/expertise. Through the detailed examination of support offerings and business relationships at the system customer–supplier interface, this article seeks to offer clearer distinctions for those involved in study or practice of buying/selling business solutions. We do this through the detailed examination of one particular complex environment, the UK defense industry. The article is divided up into six main sections. Firstly, Section 2 provides a review of relevant literature. Section 3 provides a brief explanation of the motivation behind the research as well as the methodology adopted. Section 4 provides a background to the UK defense industry, which leads into an exploration of key results. Section 5 then reviews key findings, and presents managerial implications. Section 6 provides the article's conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This article brings together key literature and industry practice to assist in mapping and characterizing the phenomenon of business solutions in complex systems environments. An exploration of the dimensions in Fig. 5 provides us with an improved perspective of different forms of solutions. It also provides a clearer foundation for exploring how the system customer's interests and priorities are connected to the system supplier's offerings. Our research identified four solutions models, although others may exist along the same dimensions. The models include (1) product system support, (2) life cycle product system support, (3) functional system support, and (4) enterprise system support. Models 1 and 2 incorporate Allmendinger and Lombreglia's different forms of product-based services, up to the point of taking on major responsibility for product support and an increasing visibility of key/end-user activities. Helander and Möller's work usefully illustrates how system suppliers can position their integrated offering against the (i) customer strategy and knowledge base, (ii) phase of the customer–supplier relationship and (iii) phase of technology cycle. However, we argue that the managerial implications and challenges of being a ‘solution provider’ or ‘performance provider’ are significantly different in the context of adopting either a product orientation or customer orientation. System suppliers that support equipment through life may increasingly be concerned product system performance in the field, yet the performance of the military enterprise system falls to the responsibility of truly customer-oriented system suppliers. Through the exploration of models 2 and 4 we also found that the customer's contribution to the solution is important to its success, as consistent with Tuli, et al. The MoDs drive for ensuring a joined-up approach to acquisition is consistent with Tuli's customer-based ‘process-centric’ view of solutions. The findings as represented in Fig. 5 were accepted by MoD and system supplier staff as providing a useful visual tool for judging migration and end-states between customer and supplier. It forms the basis of an ongoing action research project to further examine (a) the challenges associated with business transitioning between solutions positions, and (b) profiles/characteristics associated with each of the models. Practitioners in our study argue that yet more needs to be done to understand the solutions phenomenon. As pointed out by Cova and Salle (2007), on top of a change in the orientation of the firm, there are also challenges associated with the need for new capabilities and skills, transformation of structure and processes, and the implementation of the transformation process within the organization. Further research should examine solutions positioning and transitioning against firm capabilities and capability reconfiguration, which also requires more attention in the solutions literature. In this context, the interpretation of the term ‘enterprise’ and solutions that support the customer enterprise is particularly salient. Our study is limited to one specific industry; however, we sought to present our findings in a way that provides some scope to generalize across industries, with particular emphasis on complex systems environments. Our findings may also help support research efforts towards building new models of industrial organization and supply that may better reflect current and future practice.