اوضاع به هر حال پیش می رود: شناسایی صور فلکی ارزشی برای تزریق خدمات در شرکت های کوچک و متوسط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|12475||2013||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 42, Issue 1, January 2013, Pages 18–30
Manufacturing firms have always delivered services, by supplying spare parts, installing equipment, training employees, or performing maintenance. In competitive markets though, firms seek new ways to differentiate their business, including an increased focus on service, often referred to as service infusion. Of the studies that seek to understand this phenomenon, most focus on large multinational firms; little is known about service infusion in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study adopts an explorative approach to investigate how SMEs construct new value constellations that enable value creation through services. The findings, based on in-depth interviews with key informants from 13 SMEs, suggest that there is no predefined transition process for service infusion in SMEs, which seldom have the resources to build new organizational units or create new specialties. Instead, they differentiate themselves through new value constellations within business networks. The heterogeneity of service offerings and business networks means those value constellations take many forms.
Firms in various industries are finding that they can no longer succeed just by offering excellent products, traditional after-sales service, and logistics. To differentiate themselves from their competitors, manufacturing firms have begun to extend their range of service offerings and enhance their service orientation (Gebauer et al., 2010 and Martin and Horne, 1992). Such changes generally help firms achieve better returns on sales and improve their value (Fang, Palmatier, & Steenkamp, 2008). The resulting importance of services for manufacturing firms has prompted a newly named concept: “service infusion in manufacturing firms”1 (Gustafsson et al., 2010, Kowalkowski et al., 2012, Nilsson et al., 2001 and Ostrom et al., 2010). Most studies of service infusion in manufacturing firms focus on large multinational firms (e.g., Davies et al., 2007, Gebauer and Kowalkowski, 2012, Raddats and Easingwood, 2010 and Ulaga and Reinartz, 2011), even though service infusion occurs in all types of supply chains (Löfberg et al., 2010 and Matthyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008), including those for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)2 (Gebauer, Paiola, & Edvardsson, 2010). An empirical investigation of European manufacturing firms even concludes that small and medium-sized suppliers of components and subsystems are influenced by service infusion just as much as larger original equipment manufacturers (OEM) are (Lay, Copani, Jäger, & Biege, 2010). With their limited size and resources (Storey & Greene, 2010), SMEs may need different tactics if they are to benefit from service infusion in manufacturing firms; we know that they are affected differently than larger firms by an increased focus on service (Gebauer, Paiola, et al., 2010). Despite a few studies of service infusion in SMEs (Gebauer et al., 2010 and Malleret, 2006), no explicit investigations consider how SMEs manage to infuse service into their business. In particular, SMEs lack the necessary resources – staff, competences, facilities, and finances – to provide the services that their customers require. Considering their overall reliance on other firms in their network (Gebauer, Paiola, et al., 2010) and the resources needed to develop and provide new services (Fischer, Gebauer, Gregory, Ren, & Fleisch, 2010), we posit that SMEs depend heavily on actors in their business network to achieve success with service infusion. Previous research on service infusion has not really examined value creation in the broader network that surrounds a customer–supplier dyad (Matthyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008, Ulaga and Eggert, 2006 and Windahl and Lakemond, 2006). Yet firms are embedded in networks of interconnected relationships that form a web of interactions, and this network extends far beyond just two firms (Håkansson et al., 2009). Within the network, firms create value by configuring their portfolio of direct relationships into distinct, specific, and integrated structures (Corsaro et al., 2012 and Möller and Rajala, 2007), referred to as value constellations ( Normann and Ramírez, 1993, Normann and Ramírez, 1994 and Ramírez, 1999). Such value constellations could serve an important purpose in enabling SMEs to provide services. This study considers these factors in an analysis of the challenges for an SME when working with service infusion, particularly due to their limited internal resources. Specifically, we investigate how SMEs construct value constellations through relationships with other firms to enable service provision. In-depth analyses of 13 SMEs from a wide variety of manufacturing industries indicate nine generic value constellations for service provision. The results imply there is no general, predefined transition process or value constellation that solves all service infusion challenges for SMEs. Rather, SMEs construct a variety of value constellations to operationalize their service strategies and provide service offerings to customers. Therefore, this study contests the established view that firms undergo specific phases during a service transition trajectory and that particular business models are especially suitable for service provision in a manufacturing context (Gebauer and Kowalkowski, 2012, Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003, Penttinen and Palmer, 2007 and Wise and Baumgartner, 1999).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
6.1. Theoretical implications Over time, the business of manufacturing firms has evolved from an emphasis on the sale of products and gaining market share toward developing business relationships with customers, such that offerings based on both products and services drive growth and revenues. To understand how service infusion influences SMEs and how SMEs handle this multifaceted evolution, it is necessary to understand how they can adopt different value constellations to find the resources needed to put a service strategy into practice. This study contributes to existing research on service infusion in manufacturing firms by changing the perspective and examining how SMEs, often as subsuppliers, deal with service provision. Service infusion differs between SMEs and large multinationals, challenging the findings of previous studies that suggest predefined transition lines for service infusion (e.g., Matthyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008, Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003, Penttinen and Palmer, 2007 and Raddats and Easingwood, 2010). These frameworks often propose multiple stages and list certain activities a firm must perform to reach the next stage and ultimately become a service provider. Our study suggests that “any way goes” for SMEs; they can succeed with service provision through different value constellations. We have identified nine generic value constellations that can be used to operationalize different service strategies. Despite their limited size, many SMEs provide services through multiple value constellations that coexist in the same network. Regardless of the potential difficulties involved in coordinating multiple, very different value constellations (Corsaro et al., 2012), SMEs proactively (or reactively) form new value constellations to achieve their service strategies. Specific constellations may be needed to develop and provide particular services, which means that firms with a wide range of services, such as basic after-sales services, process optimization, systems integration, and operational services, may need to form and manage more than one value constellation. Managing service provision is not achieved by a framework that discovers the “best” value constellation but instead by developing parallel value constellations that are internally coherent to cover heterogeneity in the range of services. Proactive SMEs especially take different approaches in their attempt to increase value-in-use for customers and thus service revenues. Unlike large manufacturing firms that are internally organized in spatially dispersed local and central functions and distinct business units though (Gebauer and Kowalkowski, 2012 and Kowalkowski et al., 2011), SMEs generally have limited internal resources and limited ability to arrange intrafirm value constellations that can cover a wide range of service offerings. Thus, multiple value constellations may be a logical consequence of service infusion in SMEs. Finally, these findings extend existing knowledge about how manufacturing firms assimilate key capabilities and interact in business networks to infuse services. Research on service infusion to date has focused primarily on the internal organization of the firm (e.g., Gebauer, 2008, Gebauer and Kowalkowski, 2012, Kindström et al., 2012, Kowalkowski et al., 2012, Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003 and Raddats and Easingwood, 2010), which ignores that many firms operate through service partners that also participate in service provision. Cova and Salle (2008), Matthyssens and Vandenbempt (2008), and Windahl and Lakemond (2006) suggest that relationships within a network are essential for many large, multinational manufacturing firms. We argue instead that the business network and its constellation of vertical and horizontal actors should be even more important for SMEs because of the vast, diverse capabilities needed for service provision. Although several SMEs charge for services through collaboration within their new value constellation, our findings also show that inflexibility in the business network can inhibit service infusion initiatives. 6.2. Managerial implications In terms of managerial implications, we identify how different value constellations can create the resources that an SME needs to initiate and further develop the service infusion of its business. An SME adopting a service strategy can form different value constellations, whether to strengthen its present service strategy or to deliver a type of service outside its present service strategy. When an SME strengthens its present service strategy, one or more value constellations get initiated for each service. Value constellations form to ensure the capabilities needed to test, sell, and provide new services and to reduce the risk of the SME. Another alternative is that the formation of a new value constellation and access to external resources means that internal resources, previously tied up in basic services, such as skilled technicians, become available. The resources then can be transferred to services within the existing service strategy of the firm, which often involves more advanced services. A key issue for manufacturing firms is their ability to charge for services. Lay et al.'s (2010) empirical investigation of more than 3000 manufacturing firms shows that the portion of services invoiced indirectly is larger than the directly invoiced portion. The ability to charge for services that had previously been free represents a challenge to managers (Pauwels & Weiss, 2008). Our study shows that participation in a new value constellation can enable SMEs to start charging for their services. The introduction of new capabilities and enhanced offerings through a new value constellation into an ongoing business relationship changes the status and potential of the customer–provider relationship and can lead to a changed revenue model. Furthermore, an SME that offers new services, made possible through a new value constellation, is better positioned to charge for services, because the customer has not previously purchased the services nor is used to receiving them for free. Ultimately, each SME must decide how to respond when it faces product commoditization: develop relationships with key actors in the business network, establish service revenue models, understand which key capabilities to acquire through collaboration with actors in the business network or acquisition, and form new vertically or horizontally integrated value constellations. To succeed with service infusion, it is seldom enough for the managers to change their mindset. Other actors in the value constellation(s) also must adapt and shift their mindset to some degree to achieve external alignment through mutual investments in reciprocal adaptation, such as trust and open dialogue (Kowalkowski, 2011 and Matthyssens and Vandenbempt, 2008). Although SMEs face some disadvantages compared with large manufacturing firms, they also enjoy advantages, including a more entrepreneurial culture, a more flexible and agile organization, greater proximity to customers and partners, and better interfirm adaptability, which they should recognize and exploit. Managing service infusion is a key strategic issue, not only for managers in multinational OEMs but also for an increasing number of SMEs. Regardless of whether an SME infuses services proactively or reactively, its managers must be enterprising and aware of potential service provision opportunities; they must also recognize key challenges, such as the difficulties of allocating internal resources to work proactively and strategically with service infusion. If an SME has a better understanding of its service infusion options, it can better prepare its response to changes in its business network, including new customer needs, such that it can effectively acquire business-critical capabilities and expand its service business. It also should carefully assess possible service strategies and ways to organize interfirm relationships to achieve its objectives through service infusion. 6.3. Research limitations and further research Our empirical investigation focused on the role of SMEs in the value constellation, and our data collection was limited to interviews and documents related to the focal actor. This approach was consistent with the stated purpose of identifying a range of value constellations, but more in-depth studies of all actors in the value constellations would create a better understanding of each value constellation. Furthermore, contrasting the present supplier perspective with a customer perspective could expand our existing knowledge. In some cases, the firm interviews included only one key informant per firm, mainly because many SMEs make only a few people responsible for service provision. Further empirical investigations might include several layers of management to clarify the role of the different value constellations at strategic, tactical, and operational levels. In addition, we used a sample of Swedish SMEs, and though they all have multinational customers, the country-specific sample limits external validity. Additional empirical investigations should include samples from different cultural regions. Finally, the nine generic value constellations we identified are not meant to be exhaustive but rather serve to highlight potential strategic opportunities for SMEs working with service provision. Other SMEs could construct other value constellations, a point that a larger-scale study could investigate further. The role of value constellations could be studied from a choice perspective: All manufacturing firms must make such a decision when moving into services. The concept of value constellations also could apply to the choice large manufacturing firms make between providing some services in-house and others through external partners. Extending the value constellations to include both internal business units and external partners makes it possible to identify new types of value constellations.