مدل کسب و کار راه حلی : توانمندی ها و شیوه های مدیریت برای راه حل های یکپارچه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7705||2011||13 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Industrial Marketing Management, Volume 40, Issue 5, July 2011, Pages 699–711
The developed solution business model framework assists firms wishing to design solution business models by categorizing capabilities and management practices necessary for the effective management of such a business model. The developed framework integrates findings from a wide variety of research streams with the empirical data collected in an abductive research process, involving ten firms with multi-national operations. The framework consist of a solution process with four phases (develop solutions, create demand, sell solution, and deliver solution) and three groups of cross-functionality issues (commercialization, industrialization, and solution platform). The framework identifies twelve capability categories, and sixty-four capabilities and management practices pertinent to the effective management of solution business. The research points to the importance of cross-functional alignment within firms. An effective solution business model requires the intricate coordination of resources and business processes across all functions.
Solution business models are characterized by longitudinal processes of collaboration that involve several functions of both the buying and the selling organizations (Brady et al., 2005, Davies, 2004, Spekman and Carraway, 2006, Tuli et al., 2007 and Ulaga and Eggert, 2006). According to Tuli et al. (2007, p. 14) “selling solutions is a complex exercise that involves the consideration of conflicting requirements of multiple stakeholders in a customer organization and sales cycles lasting up to two years”. Success in solution business requires a firm-wide initiative; solution development and sales cannot be delegated to any single function in the organization. Firms wishing to deliver solutions effectively need to secure support from all functions, including product development, marketing, sales, operations, and finance. The logic of solution business is quite different from the logic of product business: it requires a more collaborative management, business planning needs to involve customers more, and the measures used to control the business have to acknowledge its cross-functional nature. This may require changes in the way that firms manage their business model: the ability to create alignment between the functional objectives and business processes will become an overriding theme. There are several research streams that investigate solutions: the servitization literature (e.g., Baines et al., 2009 and Mathieu, 2001), the solution marketing and sales literature (e.g., Anderson et al., 2006, Spekman and Carraway, 2006, Storbacka et al., 2009 and Tuli et al., 2007), the solution strategy and management literature (e.g., Brady et al., 2005, Davies, 2004 and Galbraith, 2002), and the operations management oriented product/service systems literature (e.g., Meier et al., 2010 and Tan et al., 2010). Although many researchers point to the need for cross-functional integration (Nordin & Kowalkowski, 2010), little research has been directed at providing frameworks that help firms understand how they can design inclusive solution business models that illustrate the balance between the need to adapt to individual customers and the need for ‘industrialization’ of the delivery of the sold solution (Davies, Brady, & Hobday, 2006: Meier et al., 2010). Solutions are defined in numerous ways (see Lay, Schroeter and Biege, 2009, Nordin and Kowalkowski, 2010 and Windahl and Lakemond, 2010). Evanschitzky, von Wangenheim, and Woisetschläger (2011-this issue) argue that solutions are “individualized offers for complex customer problems that are interactively designed and whose components offer an integrative added value by combining products and/or services so that the value is more than the sum of the components”. This research focuses on ‘integrated solutions’, defined as longitudinal relational processes, during which a solution provider integrates goods, service and knowledge components into unique combinations that solve strategically important customer specific problems, and is compensated on the basis of the customer's value-in-use. Offering integrated solutions requires organizational and capability changes as firms reposition themselves in the value chain (Galbraith, 2002 and Wise and Baumgartner, 1999). Spekman and Carraway (2006) suggest that the transition towards collaborative solution selling requires a better understanding of new capabilities needed “without which any collaboration is apt to run into insurmountable obstacles” (ibid. p. 12). Brady et al. (2005) argue that firms that shift towards becoming providers of integrated solutions develop new capabilities, such as systems integration capabilities, operational service capabilities, business consulting capabilities and financing capabilities. With the exception of Möller and Törrönen (2003), there is little research that details and categorizes the capabilities and management practices pertinent to the effective management of a solution business model. This paper addresses the above identified gaps in literature by generating a better understanding of the characteristics and determinants of an effective solution business model. More precisely, the purpose of the research is: (1) to develop an inclusive solution business model framework that assists firms wishing to design solution business models, and (2) to identify and categorize organizational capabilities and management practices necessary for the effective management of such a business model. The paper is structured as follows. After this introduction, the research process and the used methods are described. Second, a broad description of the developed solution business framework is provided. Third, the identified capabilities and management practices are illustrated. Lastly the author discusses the implications and contribution of the research, future research opportunities and managerial implications.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This research responds to calls to improve firms' capability to co-create complex business solutions (Marketing Science Institute, 2010), and to connect business processes that cut across traditional organizational silos (Bolton, 2006). Furthermore, it also responds to a more general call for conceptual articles in marketing (Yadav, 2010). 5.1. Main contributions The work contributes to the solution literature in three ways. First, solutions are defined as processes and not as combinations of various goods, services and knowledge elements. This is consistent with Tuli et al. (2007), who view solutions as relational processes. They, however, discuss this only in the context of the delivery of a single customer specific solution. This research, in contrast, highlights the processes needed to create repeatability and scalability of solutions (plural) and, furthermore, emphasizes the role of the solution platform capabilities as key determinants for sustainable success in solution business. The foremost impact of the process-oriented view is that that commercialization and industrialization are depicted as parallel processes, instead of sequential ones. This resonates with the reasoning of the service-dominant logic as proposed by Vargo and Lusch (2008). A solution provider does not create solutions that deliver value to customers, but rather engages in long term collaboration, and co-creates value with the customer. The developed framework exemplifies how firms can apply a service-dominant logic in an industrialized way. Second, the developed holistic framework integrates the disparate solution literature and, thus, allows a more comprehensive understanding of the practical ramifications of the alignment issues between product, marketing, sales and operations management that must be resolved in order to design effective solution business models. The framework emphasizes that firms need to focus not only on the marketing-sales interface, but also more generally on the multi-faceted interfaces between the commercialization process and the industrialization process. Solution business is cross-functional in nature, and firms entering solutions business may, hence, need to define totally new boundary spanning roles, spanning intra-firm and inter-firm functions. This resonates with the call for new types of professionals, often called ‘t-shaped’, as they have “deep problem solving skills in one discipline […], as well as broad communication skills across many disciplines” (Spohrer & Maglio, 2010, p. 184). Third, the identification and explication of the sixty-four capabilities and management practices, which was done by systematically combining extant literature on solution business and empirical observations, contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the capability development needed for effective management of solution business models. Furthermore, the assembly of the capabilities and management practices into twelve capability categories, covering the whole process from innovation to delivery, and the various cross-functional interfaces, is significant, as it suggests a framework for firms to assess their capability gaps and thus to discuss resource allocations between functions. The detailed listing of the capabilities and management practices, provided in Table 2, acts as a reference list for firms designing solution business models. 5.2. Further research opportunities The research process opens up several potential avenues for further research. The first research question relates to improvement of the alignment of the identified capability blocks. Nenonen and Storbacka (2010a) argue that different business model designs can produce equal financial results as long as the design ‘fits the firm and its customers’ (c.f. Doty, Glick, & Huber, 1993). This view resonates with the literature on configurations. According to Meyer, Tsui, and Hinings (1993), configurations are constellations of design elements that commonly occur together because their interdependence makes them fall into patterns. Configurations aim at creating harmony, consonance, or a fit between the configurative elements (Meyer et al., 1993, Miller, 1996 and Normann, 2001). Thus, it can be said that effective business models are characterized by the configurational fit of their elements. Elements of a configuration interact if the value of one element depends on the presence of the other element; reinforce each other if the value of each element is increased by the presence of the other element; and are independent if the value of an element is independent of the presence of another element (Siggelkow, 2002). Hence, an important research avenue is to identify the reinforcing business model elements that drive configurational fit, and, thus, the effectiveness of a solution business model. Second, the research process indicates that there are differences between how solution business is configured and conducted in different industries. The logic of conducting business differs between industries due to commonly accepted dominant designs (Baldwin and Clark, 2006 and Srinivasan et al., 2006), industry recipes (Spender, 1989), business concepts (Lay, Schroeter, & Biege, 2009), or business logics (Nenonen & Storbacka, 2010b). Nenonen and Storbacka (2010b) identify five generic business logics in business-to-business firms: installed-base (investment products and related services, thus creating an installed base at the customer end); input-to-process (products and solutions that are utilized as input in the customers' process); continuous relationships (products and services that are characterized by long-term contracts); consumer-brands (products for the consumer market that are sold through a channel); and situational services (project-based services, which fulfill customers' situation-driven needs). An interesting avenue for research is a comparative analysis of how the solutions business models differ between firms applying different business logics. Finally, the seventy-one capabilities and management practices identified can be used as measures in a quantitative study. The aim of such a study is to combine capability and practice measures with firm performance measures, in order to create more understanding of how solution business can support firm performance in various industries and/or business logics, and to evaluate which of the capability blocks' subsequent capabilities or management practices have the biggest impact on firm performance. 5.3. Managerial implications The research suggests that firms must move beyond selling and delivering ad-hoc solutions. They need to find a balance between commercialization (understanding segments and customers, and crafting solution offerings that are experienced by customers as tailored to their specific situations) and industrialization (modularizing and standardizing solution components for scalability and repeatability). This balance is created with a solution business model that requires ‘platform investments’ — investments into new organizational capabilities. The research indicates that it is the investment in the solution platform that creates the foundation for a sustainable competitive advantage in solution business. Overall, the research points to the importance of cross-functional alignment within firms. An effective solution business model requires the intricate coordination of resources and business processes across all functions. For example, many of the problems experienced in solution sales may, in fact, have little to do with the sales process or the skills of the sales people. They can instead be the results of a poorly executed industrialization of solutions or the lack of a sustainable solution business platform. There may not be well configured solutions (or configuration rules) where the elements of the solution are integrated to ensure interoperability and quality in delivery. There may be no clarity about the particular segments that the solution business focuses on. There may be no segment specific value propositions articulated for the solution business. The value-based pricing logic may not be defined, which makes it difficult to create solution configuration and pricing tools. There may not be standardized solution contracts available, nor centralized legal support, making it difficult to build attractive proposals. There may not be enough market and customer intelligence available to support sales in making convincing arguments that are connected to the customers' strategic agenda. A solution provider needs to engage with customers in a comprehensive way, not delegating the process to only one function. Instead of a sales process, firms should consider defining a commercialization process, which is ‘cross-functional’, and involves many managerial layers. The engagement with customers will entail higher cost and risk levels compared to selling products, and to create the necessary capabilities that are described in Table 2 will require investment. This has three managerial consequences. First, it is of utmost importance that the decision to enter solution business is strategically anchored within top management. The investments in a solution platform – that is not visible to customers – do not produce immediate results. Without initial managerial commitment, the importance of the platform and the need for its resources may fail to be recognized within functions that are not customer facing. By making the transformation to solutions business a strategic priority for the whole firm, all functions can more easily be aligned. Second, engaging in solution business changes the risk profile of the provider. The risks relate partly to being responsible for customers' process performance, sometimes without direct authority to influence the processes, and partly to the increased balance sheet exposure as customers increasingly do not want to own equipment and ask providers to retain ownership. Hence, it is important to assess all of the risks associated with the firm's solution contract portfolio. Third, firms need to be able to create a business case for the investments into the transformation, taking into account the risks and returns. To support this, the solution business management system should be liberated from the shackles of functional thinking. Based on the analysis of the case firms, it seems that organizing around customer segments is a key starting point. As a firm organizes around segments, the organization starts to generate intelligence about the segments, and this can be used to articulate value propositions that resonate with the customers in the segment. The implementation of successful solution deliveries accumulates the intelligence and makes it possible to standardize solution elements and tools related to them. The segment organization also creates an infrastructure for planning and control, which eventually enables systematic monitoring of the performance of individual customer relationships and segments.