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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1997

Mats Abrahamsson and Staffan Brege

Logistics is changing from a focus on cost reduction and service improvement at the firm level to an emphasis on supply chain restructuring and organizing to increase…

Abstract

Logistics is changing from a focus on cost reduction and service improvement at the firm level to an emphasis on supply chain restructuring and organizing to increase overall efficiency and effectiveness. In this article, we focus on structural changes in the supply chain, the results of which are the reengineering of materials management, physical distribution and sales activities. Using case studies, we identified five different structural changes which affected the organization of logistics, marketing and sales activities. By using modern information technology, it was possible to centralize physical and administrative activities and, at the same time, maintain a decentralized sales organization. Total distribution costs were reduced by 30‐50 per cent and customer service was significantly improved.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 5 October 2015

Jerker Lessing and Staffan Brege

The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the business model of product-oriented house-building companies and, hence, bridging the gap of knowledge on this…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe and analyse the business model of product-oriented house-building companies and, hence, bridging the gap of knowledge on this topic. Product-orientation implies an alternative approach to house-building, requiring new knowledge about business models and its characteristics. The balance and fit between the main business model dimensions is specifically focused on to emphasise the importance of a holistic approach.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a case study with two leading Swedish, product-oriented house-building companies. Semi-structured interviews with company executives, document studies, site and factory visits, along with seminars at the companies are the main data sources. Theories on business models and product orientation form the theoretical foundation for the study.

Findings

The case studies describe two successful companies that used end-customer knowledge to identify a target segment, develop an offering and sequentially increase control over the production and supply chain, with limited investments. This indicates that a market-based outside-in perspective is a successful approach to establish viable house-building concepts with a balance between the business model’s dimensions.

Practical implications

The knowledge brought forward in this study is beneficial for practitioners that can learn about product-oriented house-building and how this must be reflected in the company’s business model to be successfully applied.

Social implications

The study brings forward knowledge about house-building business models that can contribute to increased house-building targeted on certain customer segments. This can be beneficial in terms of decreased costs and increased volumes of new-built, high-quality homes for a variety of customers on the market.

Originality/value

Business models for product-oriented house-building companies are a scarcely covered topic in previous research, and hence, this study provides knowledge of interest for both researchers and practitioners. The case studies reveal unique information of how two companies developed their successful concepts.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 29 June 2010

Staffan Brege, Per‐Olof Brehmer and Helena Lindskog

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how and why the question of outsourcing or insourcing within a specific empirical context, telecommunications…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and analyze how and why the question of outsourcing or insourcing within a specific empirical context, telecommunications services, has been handled differently over time.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal study on procurement of telecommunications for the Swedish public sector's organizations during the last 40 years. The empirical data were collected from three case studies and one research project.

Findings

The paper identifies four phases: from a simple buying situations, via insourcing of equipment in order to produce some services in‐house, to outsourcing of telecommunications in a first step and to outsourcing of combined data and telecommunications in a second step. Three major contextual determinants are identified for the public procurement of telecommunications services: de‐monopolization, rapid technical development and pressure on public agencies from politicians, citizens and others. In addition to low cost, core competence, control and flexibility, the paper identifies business development as a new logic for outsourcing and insourcing.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to Sweden and public procurement of telecommunications services. Therefore, it would be of value to test if the development of public procurement of telecommunications in other countries passed through the same phases and with the same determinants.

Practical implications

Many of the findings are valid for public procurement in other countries, especially in the European Union due to the common legislative base for public procurement.

Originality/value

The paper fulfills an identified need to carry out a longitudinal study of changes in public procurement of telecommunications through the different phases of in/outsourcing.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2013

Hossein Dadfar, Staffan Brege and Sedigheh Sarah Ebadzadeh Semnani

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of customer involvement in service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore the role of customer involvement in service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Since the nature of the study is exploratory, the case study approach was adopted. The paper focusses on customer involvement in the context of service production and delivery system in service organization rather than in the context of customer organization. The authors looked at supplier involvement as well, due to the fact that a lack of sufficient information from a supplier or lack of proper training may inhibit customers' successful involvement. A detailed case study was carried out on a sample of four service providers: a general contractor, a chemical process engineer, a software developer and a language institute as well as a service buyer case – a Petrochemical Holding Company. In total the paper includes five cases.

Findings

The study reveals that even though co‐production of the customers with the service provider is a must, however, it has different effects on the quality of service produced depending on the situation and the nature of services offered. In the cases of the complex engineering services – general contractor and chemical engineering – that service requirements and technical specifications were provided by the customers, and service providers were chosen by open bidding process, there were instances where the co‐production could lead to malfunction of the service. This was evident in the cases when the inappropriate technical specifications and requirements were provided by the customer hindering the service provider to deliver services smoothly. On the other hand, in the cases of new software development process and language institute, it had been evident that the involvement of customers – with a sound customer involvement management – has tremendous positive effects and lead to greater productivity and customer satisfaction. In the case of the petrochemical company and international service providers, educating the suppliers/service providers by the buyer, to a large extent, could solve the service quality problems in terms of on time delivery, costs and technical conformity as stressed by buyers.

Originality/value

The study provides empirical evidence regarding customer involvement in the service production and its possible effects on the quality of service delivery as well as customer satisfaction and sheds light on the situations that customer involvement is a success or a threat. The research also contributes to the understanding of how the nature of services, the level and scope of customer involvement as well as building relationship and trust amongst the customer and the service provider affect the outcome of customer‐service provider co‐production.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Daniel Nordigården, Jakob Rehme, Staffan Brege, Daniel Chicksand and Helen Walker

The purpose of this paper is to investigate an underexplored aspect of outsourcing involving a mixed strategy in which parallel production is continued in-house at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate an underexplored aspect of outsourcing involving a mixed strategy in which parallel production is continued in-house at the same time as outsourcing occurs.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applied a multiple case study approach and drew on qualitative data collected through in-depth interviews with wood product manufacturing companies.

Findings

The paper posits that there should be a variety of mixed strategies between the two governance forms of “make” or “buy.” In order to address how companies should consider the extent to which they outsource, the analysis was structured around two ends of a continuum: in-house dominance or outsourcing dominance. With an in-house-dominant strategy, outsourcing complements an organization's own production to optimize capacity utilization and outsource less cost-efficient production, or is used as a tool to learn how to outsource. With an outsourcing-dominant strategy, in-house production helps maintain complementary competencies and avoids lock-in risk.

Research limitations/implications

This paper takes initial steps toward an exploration of different mixed strategies. Additional research is required to understand the costs of different mixed strategies compared with insourcing and outsourcing, and to study parallel production from a supplier viewpoint.

Practical implications

This paper suggests that managers should think twice before rushing to a “me too” outsourcing strategy in which in-house capacities are completely closed. It is important to take a dynamic view of outsourcing that maintains a mixed strategy as an option, particularly in situations that involve an underdeveloped supplier market and/or as a way to develop resources over the long term.

Originality/value

The concept of combining both “make” and “buy” is not new. However, little if any research has focussed explicitly on exploring the variety of different types of mixed strategies that exist on the continuum between insourcing and outsourcing.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2012

Hossein Dadfar and Staffan Brege

The purpose of this paper is to assess the quality of Tehran pharmacies' services and their impacts on the pharmaceutical firms, to highlight forces behind the current…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the quality of Tehran pharmacies' services and their impacts on the pharmaceutical firms, to highlight forces behind the current situation and suggest some improvements. This provides the means for pharmaceutical companies to differentiate themselves by quality of services, in the forefront of dealing with the customers, so‐called the last “touch point”.

Design/methodology/approach

After a comprehensive literature review, SERVQUAL model was chosen to be used in this study. A combination of quantitative and qualitative (integrative) methods was used for data collection and analysis. The quantitative data were gathered by questionnaires, including 22 pair items measuring expectation and perception, followed by qualitative data, including 32 in‐depth interviews. Furthermore, the views of our expert panel consisting of nine experts have been identical to the study. For statistical treatment of quantitative data, SPSS software was used.

Findings

The study reveals that Tehran community pharmacies are facing serious service quality problems. The results of quantitative data show negative gaps in perceptions and expectations of customers in all 22 SERQUAL statements and all dimensions: Information, Reliability, Empathy, Appearance and Time commitment. Comparatively, appearance dimension is ranked as the highest quality and the lowest rank belongs to information dimension. The findings show that the generic SERVQUAL scale does not properly measure the quality of pharmacies' services; therefore, the authors recommend an industry‐based scale; called PHARMA‐SERVQUAL. The findings show the reasons for low quality services are: low education of pharmacists' assistants, lack of proper regulation and control, pharmacies' economic problems and cost of quality improvement, the culture of blaming others and accusing pharmaceutical firms, government and social security organization. In short, pharmacists transfer their service problems to pharmaceutical firms, which have largely neglected this last touch point with the customer. The study also suggests some quality improvements and academic as well as managerial implications.

Originality/value

The study provides empirical evidence regarding the service quality of pharmacies in a developing country (Iran) and adds depth to the understanding of the reasons behind the quality problems. This research contributes to the understanding of how pharmacies' qualities of services enhance/change the customers' perception of the pharmaceutical companies' product qualities. It suggests that the firms should differentiate themselves at the pharmacies as the “last touch point” dealing with the end‐users. The study sheds light on the necessity of modifying the SERVQUAL items and dimensions to fit pharmacies' services.

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Mohammad Reza Saeedi, Hossein Dadfar and Staffan Brege

– This study aims to examine the impacts of inward international licensing (IIL) on the absorptive capacity (ACAP) of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a developing economy.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impacts of inward international licensing (IIL) on the absorptive capacity (ACAP) of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in a developing economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is explorative, qualitative and elaborative in nature. Therefore, a multiple case study was selected and performed as the research strategy. The data were collected from four pharmaceutical SMEs licensed from European pharmaceutical large-scale enterprises.

Findings

The results confirm that IIL has a strong effect on acquisition, assimilation, transformation and exploitation as absorptive factors. Furthermore, the results have been enhanced by several contextual factors of ACAP human resources, inter-and intra-firm relationships, internal knowledge and managerial and strategic aspects. These contextual factors have also been influenced by IIL.

Originality/value

From the licensee perspective in a developing context, examining the extant literature on non-equity strategic alliances shows that very few studies have empirically examined the impact of this kind of alliance, such as IIL, on SMEs’ ACAP. On this basis, the study provides evidence that non-equity strategic alliances, particularly IIL, enhance SMEs’ capabilities such as ACAP. In other words, to overcome SMEs’ resource limitations and inadequate capabilities, IIL provides opportunities for them to obtain capabilities and critical resources.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 6 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2015

Jane F. Maley, Christian Kowalkowski, Staffan Brege and Sergio Biggemann

– The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rationale for choice of suppliers and the influence these decisions have on the firm’s capabilities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the rationale for choice of suppliers and the influence these decisions have on the firm’s capabilities.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine the choice of in-house operations vs buying maintenance in the Swedish mining industry through a qualitative case study approach.

Findings

The findings reveal a strong tendency to outsource maintenance.

Research limitations/implications

This in turn has a strong influence on the firm’s capabilities and long-term competitive advantage and sustainability.

Practical implications

Based on the empirical findings, the authors comment on the strength and weaknesses of the different outsourcing and attempt to find practical solutions that assist the firm in creating competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The unique contribution of this study is that it extends prior firm capabilities studies by investigating the impact of capability loss specifically in complex, intricate maintenance processes in a dynamic industry.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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