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E‐service: enhancing internal customer service through e‐procurement

Simon Croom (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
Robert Johnston (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 1 December 2003



E‐business developments represent a significant step in the evolution of inter‐organisational systems (IOS). Their impact on external supply chains is a major area of discussion and analysis in the literature, principally examining issues of governance structure and process efficiencies. This paper, however, addresses issues relating to the impact of e‐business developments on internal customer service with a focus on electronic procurement introduction – in other words it concentrates on the intra‐organisational system dynamics of e‐business. The procurement process is the basis for one of the primary internal customer‐provider interfaces and thus presents a valid and useful domain of study in internal customer service. In contributing to the emerging e‐service field the article first contends that much of the recent research into e‐service has taken a primarily external customer focus. However, reports suggest that the potential of e‐business comes from applications both within and between businesses. Consequently, this paper focuses on the findings relating to internal e‐service obtained from an extensive, primarily qualitative and exploratory, research programme incorporating 97 organisations. The article concludes that internal customer satisfaction is central to the success of e‐procurement deployment and is a significant determinant of the cost benefits to be gained from its adoption.



Croom, S. and Johnston, R. (2003), "E‐service: enhancing internal customer service through e‐procurement", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 14 No. 5, pp. 539-555.




Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited

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