The paper seeks to investigate how and why service strategies differ among manufacturing companies at different positions in a supply chain.
The research was based on a multiple case study of three original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) – a heavy truck provider, a bus provider, and a construction equipment provider – and eight of their suppliers in the automotive industry. A total of 19 semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews were conducted with managers, including service managers, production managers, marketing managers, and chief executive officers.
A company's choice of service strategy appears to be influenced by its position in the supply chain. Whereas the OEMs were all after‐sales service providers, the suppliers were either development partners or had a customer service strategy. The main reasons for the difference in strategies seem to relate to differences in customer demand, the products to which the services were related, and the size of the companies.
The paper was conducted as a multiple case study that focused on two positions in the supply chain. In order to further validate the results, future studies should include more case studies that cover additional positions in the supply chain.
The paper contributes to the sparsely researched area of manufacturing firms as services providers. Previous research has tended to focus on the actions of OEMs. The wider scope of the supply chain, covered in this paper, shows that small suppliers are influenced by the service infusion of the manufacturing industry.
CitationDownload as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited