بررسی ارتباط بین انواع خدمات و ارتباط با تأمین کنندگان در محیط های خدماتی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|21270||2014||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Production Economics, Volume 149, March 2014, Pages 226–238
Manufacturers undergoing servitization resort to an increased number of suppliers to deliver services. Although managing upstream relationships is particularly critical in servitized contexts, theory development on this topic is still at an early stage. This study analyses the linkages between the types of services that servitized manufacturers outsource and the relationships they establish with their suppliers. First, we present a framework that is based on a multidimensional description of buyer–supplier relationships and on a categorisation of services. Second, we present the empirical findings coming from multiple case studies and discuss the characteristics of buyer-supplier relationships for Product support, Customer support and Process related services (the three categories investigated) in the light of the presented framework. The paper contributes to the servitization literature by showing that there is no one best way to shape buyer–supplier relationships in servitized environments. Instead, the type of service being outsourced is one of the key factors that influence the way upstream relationship should be crafted.
Manufacturing companies are shifting from being pure manufacturers to offering solutions and services, often delivered through their products or in association with them (Neely, 2008). In the literature, this move toward integrated offerings of products and services falls under different terms, such as “servitization” (Vandermerwe and Rada, 1998), “transition from products to services” (Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003), “going downstream in the value chain” (Wise and Baumgartner, 1999), “product service systems (PSS)” (Tukker, 2004), “moving towards high-value solutions, integrated solutions and system integration” (Davies, 2004 and Windahl and Lakemond, 2010) and “manufacturing/service integration” (Schmenner, 2009). Manufacturers have strong technical and product-oriented capabilities, but are often weak in service-oriented ones (Neu and Brown, 2005). Hence, they may outsource the delivery of services (e.g. a remote helpdesk, field maintenance, spare parts supply). Upstream relationships with suppliers delivering such services are therefore critical for successfully providing solutions (Windahl and Lakemond, 2006 and Johnson and Mena, 2008). Nonetheless, buyer–supplier relationships in servitized contexts have received little research attention until recently (Bastl et al., 2012). In particular, research to date has not investigated how buyer–supplier relationships are linked with the types of services outsourced. This paper focuses on this research gap. The study is based on case-based research. The paper is organised as follows: Section 2 provides a literature review and presents the research framework. Section 3 illustrates the research methodology. Section 4 describes the empirical findings, which are then discussed in Section 5 in the light of the extant literature. Implications for research and practice as well as the limitations of this research are discussed in Section 6.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Servitization requires the coordination of a complex network of product and service providers (Johnson and Mena, 2008): the management of buyer-supplier relationships is therefore critical (Baines, 2009a; Martinez et al., 2010). This paper contributes to theory development in the field of servitization, addressing a topic still under-investigated: buyer–supplier relationships. We explored the linkages between buyer-supplier relationships in servitized environments and the types of services outsourced by manufacturers. To our knowledge, this is the first empirical study on this subject, and its findings constitute an extension of recent works (Bastl et al., 2012, Paiola et al., 2013 and Lockett et al., 2011). We used the framework by Cannon and Perreault's to analyse buyer-supplier relationships, as in the paper by Bastl et al. (2012). We extended the latter research work in several ways. We analysed, in fact, numerous relationships, rather than just one, and covered a variety of contexts, not only in industrial business-to-business, but also in the consumer sector. Moreover, we moved from analysing the peculiarities of buyer-supplier relationships within servitization in comparison to traditional manufacturing (the scope of Bastl et al.‘s work) to analysing the characteristics of buyer-supplier relationships in relation to the different service types offered. In addition, to the best of our knowledge, our work is the first that investigates buyer-supplier relationships for the catgory we labelled as Customer Support services (e.g. help desk, contact centre support) within servitization contexts. Also and more importantly, contrary to the implicit assumption in Bastl et al. (2012), our work suggests that there is no one way to manage buyer-supplier relationships in servitized environments. Instead, we argue that the type of service outsourced acts as a contingent factor influencing the characteristics of these relationships. Therefore, by analysing how relationship connectors appear for different type of services, we extend the finding that “each of the five relationship connectors are impacted by the adoption of servitization” ( Bastl et al., 2012 p. 669). In particular, we found that when moving from PS to CS to PR services, the technical information needed by a supplier should be coupled with an increasing degree of knowledge of customers, of the customer's business processes, and ultimately with thorough knowledge of the whole PSS offering. This entails an increase in the amount of information exchanged as well as the establishment of relationship-specific adaptations and of cooperative norms. More specifically, empirical evidence suggests that PS services are generally provided according to transactional agreements, thus with a more relevant role of legal bonds and formal control than for CS and PR services. CS and above all PR services, on the other hand, call for a greater degree of relational governance and long-term orientation. Our work also has managerial implications. Our findings can help managers of servitized manufacturers to: (i) assess the consistency of their existing relationships; (ii) identify how to build new relationships that are consistent with the characteristics of the types of services being outsourced. When setting up new relationships, indeed, manufacturers should evaluate potential suppliers considering their capability and willingness to shape a relationship coherent with the framework (see the findings in Table 10). For instance, manufacturers should require that new suppliers involved in the provision of PR services have the availability of resources to make relationship-specific investments and the propensity to develop trust and commitment to the relationship. As for existing relationships, they should be evaluated according to the characteristics reported in the framework to check for inconsistencies and areas needing improvement. For instance, the information exchanged may be mapped to identify any other kind of information to be shared that can benefit one or both parties. One typical example is the sharing of out-of-warranty repair information by suppliers in PS services. This may benefit the buyers' side and may be implemented through incentive systems for suppliers. Finally, managers on both sides of the relationship should be aware of the varying emphasis to be put on the different connectors (rows of Table 4) for relationships concerning different service types, and shape the relationship accordingly. For example, we discussed the role of legal bonds (i.e. formal contracts): they are, per se, ineffective to regulate relationships concerning PR services, but should be supplemented or substituted by informal mechanisms and relational governance. Obviously, this study is not without limitations. First, it is based on a limited, yet carefully selected number of case studies. In particular, we have investigated only one buyer–supplier relationship concerning CS services. Therefore, the generalisability of the results cannot be proven. Future research would benefit from additional cases to verify the study findings in different settings, followed by a survey that would allow for statistical generalisation. Second, we did not include in our study the category of “operational services” or “process delegation services” (Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003, Gebauer, 2008 and Ulaga and Reinartz, 2011). Future research should address buyer–supplier relationships for these services as well. Third, the cases investigated suggest that the service type is not the only factor contributing to shaping the relationship. For instance, claims by Bastl et al. (2012) or Hakanen and Jaakkola (2012) about limited information sharing do not concern only PS services, where this may be explained by the very nature of the exchanged services, but also PR services. Additional factors may impact on the actual relationship characteristics, moderating the influence of the service type. One of these factors, exemplified by Supplier IIb, is the manufacturer's equity participation in the supplier. Others are: the bargaining power ( Bastl et al., 2012), the profit potential and the strategic role of services within the PSS ( Nordin, 2008 and Saccani, 2012), the degree to which services are standardised or customised ( Nordin, 2008, Saccani, 2012, Hakanen and Jaakkola, 2012 and Stouthuysen et al., 2012), the size of the buyer ( Bastl et al., 2012) or the extent to which the buyer has servitized ( Martinez et al., 2010). The mechanisms with which all these aspects interact have not been extensively studied yet. Contingency research about the relevance of such factors should therefore be carried out ( Sousa and Voss, 2008). Finally, our study does not explicitly consider the end customers. A possible extension of our research, would be to include the (final) customer as a unit of analysis and analyse triadic relationships in servitized environments (Finne and Holmström, 2013) instead of dyadic relationships.