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Drivers of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationships: Results from new product launches in the building material distribution channels
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Research in marketing has shown that creating value for customer is critical for success. However, the question that remains involves which actor(s) manufacturers should create value for. Different actors within the distribution channel have different purposes and their perceptions of value may vary, with potentially conflicting agendas. Limitations in the existing literature promote the current study, firstly as there is not much understanding of what equals value for channel partners, and secondly because no one has yet developed an integrated framework describing the benefits and sacrifices that drive value for channel partners. In order to add to knowledge about customer value in business relationships, the objective of this research is to explore constructs that drive value for channel partners with a focus on the phenomenon of the new product launch.

Design/methodology/approach: This research adopted an exploratory case study approach. Five case companies – three wood product manufacturers and two building material resellers – were studied. Nine interviews ranging from 90 to 150 munities were conducted with managers who performed various functions in the companies.

Findings: The findings derived from in-depth interviews demonstrate that value for resellers is product-, distribution-, service-, and relationship-related. Brand is identified as a product-related value driver, a fact that has not been emphasised by previous studies. Supplier and reseller have slightly different views on certain value drivers, such as profitability, brand, and cost. Creating value for resellers can be achieved by generating benefits or decreasing the costs incurred in the processes of purchase, warehousing, transportation, selling, and marketing. This study also reveals that value demonstration and communication with channel partners are as important as value creation.

Originality/value: This study examines an important topic of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationship from both supplier and distribution perspectives. It analyses value drivers with a focus on the phenomenon of the new product launch, which is a strategically critical activity for both supplier and reseller.

Keyword [en]
Customer value, value drivers, wood products, builders’ merchants, building material distribution, distribution channels, new product launches
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88480OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88480DiVA: diva2:604218
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Role of Suppliers and Resellers: Cases of Timber Product Distribution Channels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Role of Suppliers and Resellers: Cases of Timber Product Distribution Channels
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation aims to explain the impacts of distribution channel developments on the roles of timber product distribution channel actors. The role of channel actors in this dissertation is defined as the structured behaviour pattern that combines activities and resources in distribution channels. Three phenomena and their impacts on channel actors’ roles are addressed: (1) shifts in manufacturers’ supply chain position, (2) the changing nature of manufacturing companies’ offerings, and (3) concentrated markets with enhanced resellers. The research builds on case studies focusing on timber product distribution channels. The dissertation consists of an extended summary, six papers, and a grand case description.

This dissertation has produced several findings. First, reseller developments have driven changes in the retailer supply chain structure and have placed pressure on manufacturers. Manufacturers’ downstream vertical integration and their move to a total offering approach can be seen as countervailing effects on reseller developments. These effects have result in a new type of role: the integration role, while the significance of the service role has increased. Second, resellers have gained a central position in distribution channels, not only because they are in good position to exploit the clones to customers, but also because their business has extended from being suppliers’ distribution partners to customers’ supply hub.

Theoretically, this research contributes to the field of distribution channels by proposing definitions of roles and the roles of channel actors that allows for a better understanding of the dynamics of distribution channels. This research also proposes a distributionsupply view of vertical systems that highlights the roles played by resellers in defining offerings to customers, shaping supply chain structures, and developing and launching new products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 275 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1502
Keyword
Distribution channels, roles, role changes, downstream vertical integration, offerings, timber products
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88483 (URN)978-91-7519-687-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-03-01, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Guan, WeiRehme, JakobBrege, Staffan

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