The overall purpose of this thesis is to explore and describe the rearrangements of a company (changes), from a business model perspective, as it attempts to strategically reorient itself towards market orientation. E-commerce, and more specifically, the impact of e-commerce in this process will be explored. The empirical base of this thesis is a case study of Tetra Pak Business Support AB (TP BuS).
This reorientation is a multi-year project that has implications on many aspects and areas within the company. Using the business model as an analytical tool help understanding of both how companies change in general and what happens as they move towards market orientation.
Inherent in my view of the business model are two dimensions, a strategic and an operational. These two are represented by the concepts of strategic positions and operative platforms. I am arguing that it is beneficial to consider both these dimensions in a more iterative (and dynamic) manner when discussing and analysing a company. This can be compared to eg the RBV and the positioning perspective that can be perceived as somewhat one-dimensional in the operational and strategic dimension respectively.
What we can see, from a business model point of view, is that this reorientation has quantum characteristics, ie concurrent changes in many different areas. Hence it seems as if a reorientation towards market orientation ought to be approached in a holistic manner. There are a few things, or changes, that stand out. First, the offering concept is perhaps the most interesting aspect as it virtually drives (or pulls) many of the other changes and is the foundation for the rearrangement of the business model. In addition to the offering, the notion of bundling (how to arrange products and services) becomes an important factor to consider. The offering and bundling concept work in unison and they must be developed jointly, in an interaction, if the full potential of the concepts are to be leveraged.
Secondly the introduction of the e-marketplace opens up new ways to use the offering and to approach customers (new market channel). The e-marketplace seems to present new ways to gather and analyse information, and also to contact customers, hence having substantial influence during the process towards market orientation. It appears as if these two issues are the most interesting and pioneering, and have had great impact on the move towards market orientation.
Furthermore it is worth to notice the iterative manner in that initial changes often spawned new needs for change in other areas in order to realign the business model and to achieve fit. There seems as if a company going through such a comprehensive change, as TP BuS, must pay sufficient attention to the realignment issue and be aware of the fact that, in order to take full advantage of one change, other changes need to be implemented in other areas as well.
As we look at the reorientation that TP BuS has gone, and still is going, though we can see that they, in fact, have improved both in reference to typical production orientation characteristics as well as market orientation ones. Hinted in some literature, it might not be a question of being either or but rather both or, at least, improving with regards to both these dimensions.
Finally, the business model framework is extended to include three more aspects, drivers, enablers and outcomes. The drivers are supposed to tie the business model to the objectives or business idea. Enablers can be said to be the methods or actions that are implemented and used to rearrange the business model. Finally the outcomes eg make it possible to compare business models with each other (of the old and the new) by recognizing characteristics or traits of a business model.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2003. , 170 p.
Business model, market orientation, strategic positions, operative platforms, E-commerce