This study aims to observe different purchasing and evaluation phases during the buying of business services, thus revealing the necessity for integration of different entities during the purchasing process.
On the basis of a systematic analysis, explorative case study methods involving five Swiss multinational companies are used. In addition, the study provides a structured literature review and uses the short-term perspective of the industrial marketing and purchasing (imp) approach as a conceptual approach.
In addition to specific and business service-related difficulties, the research observes different phases “levels of integration” within the evaluation process that takes place within a company: a preparation phase, an acquisition phase and an operational phase.
The study is limited to a qualitative research approach addressing five cases from Switzerland. However, assuming the results are generalizable, future research on service evaluation should always differentiate between the different phases of an evaluation.
It is shown that for practitioners, social, financial, service and informational exchange (as per imp approach) is closely related to an adequate integration of all involved entities during the different phases of purchasing. Therefore, this research provides practical support for the purchasing process to ensure highly efficient business services.
As there has been almost no research on business service evaluation, this paper is the first work known to extend the short-term perspective of the imp approach by addressing the different purchasing phases of an integrated service evaluation.
The authors gratefully acknowledge the interview partners for their valuable and constructive inputs and the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), Switzerland, who support our research in this project.
Haensel, M. and Hofmann, E. (2018), "An integrative approach for the purchasing and evaluation of business services from a buyer’s perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 8, pp. 1187-1200. https://doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-05-2017-0112
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