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Configuring the after-sales service supply chain: A multiple case study
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Production Economics . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Brescia, Italy.
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Production Economics, ISSN 0925-5273, Vol. 110, no 1-2, 52-69 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

After-sales service in firms manufacturing and selling durable goods has a strategic relevance in its potential contribution to company profitability, customer retention and product development. This paper addresses the configuration of the after-sales supply chain. Three configuration choices are analysed: The degree of vertical integration, the degree of centralisation, and the decoupling of activities (i.e. how activities are decomposed and separated organisationally). Exploratory case study research was performed over seven companies belonging to durable consumer goods industries. The empirical findings show that configuration choices vary, suggesting that no “one best way” exists. Moreover, many firms develop multiple configurations. Choices are influenced by drivers, including the attractiveness of the after-sales business, the strategic priorities, the characteristics of the physical product and the services offered, and the configuration of the manufacturing and distribution supply chain. The paper discusses how these drivers may lead to consistent configuration choices, and how choices are related.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 110, no 1-2, 52-69 p.
Keyword [en]
After-sales service, Supply chain configuration, Durable consumer goods, Case study
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13881DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpe.2007.02.009OAI: diva2:22110
Available from: 2006-09-08 Created: 2006-09-08 Last updated: 2009-05-04
In thesis
1. Adapting manufacturing strategy to industrial after-sales service operations
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Adapting manufacturing strategy to industrial after-sales service operations
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation is initiated from an increased awareness within industry of the importance of services in general and of after-sales services in particular. The scope of this research is to analyse how the specific characteristics of after-sales services affect a company’s manufacturing strategy, which in effect should become an operations strategy not only considering the manufacturing of goods. Considering the after-sales service as a product, consisting of both good and service characteristics, the objective of this dissertation is to develop conceptual models for an improved long-term management of operations where production of both new goods and after-sales services are competing for the same or similar resources. Specifically, the structural decision categories of a manufacturing strategy, process technology, capacity, facilities, and vertical integration, are adapted to include the demands of after-sales service products.

The research result is an extension of the existing manufacturing strategy framework, which is transformed towards a more general operations strategy framework capable of providing managerial guidance for a larger set of products than just pure goods. Tools are developed for analysing what processes would be suitable for the after-sales services, and whether the after-sales processes should be merged with, or separated from, the new goods process. An extended long term service capacity framework is also introduced, looking specifically at the needs of after-sales service operations. Through seven case studies as well as a survey of 45 Italian providers of both manufactured goods and services, the after-sales supply chain is mapped and classified with respect to vertical integration and facilities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för produktionsekonomi, Linköpings universitet, 2006. 45 p.
Profil : produktionsekonomisk forskning i Linköping, ISSN 0348-1026 ; 24Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 101
Manufacturing strategy, Operations strategy, Service operations
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7026 (URN)91-85497-12-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-03-10, C3, C, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2006-09-08 Created: 2006-09-08 Last updated: 2012-08-23

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