liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
The Role of Suppliers and Resellers: Cases of Timber Product Distribution Channels
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
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 [en]
Distribution channels, roles, role changes, downstream vertical integration, offerings, timber products
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88483ISBN: 978-91-7519-687-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-88483DiVA: diva2:604234
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
List of papers
1. Development in Timber Product Distribution Channels and Its Consequences for Suppliers: A Case Study in the British Market
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Development in Timber Product Distribution Channels and Its Consequences for Suppliers: A Case Study in the British Market
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Home improving is an attractive segment of retailing, benefiting from long-term demand for more new housing and more frequent home renewal. Many kinds of building materials and products are traded in the market. In recent years, a transformation has been observed in the timber material and products distribution channels, in which Do-It-Yourself (DIY) retail chains are pushing more and more responsibilities back to their suppliers. Especially for low value and bulky wood products, there are increasing requirements on suppliers to support retailers’ supply management and in-store business development. This paper aims to investigate the strategic challenges arising from this transformation, thereby obtain a better understanding of building material distributors’ requirements in supply and their consequences for suppliers.

Research Approach: The research approach was primarily exploratory. Qualitative multiple case studies with respondents from wood-based products suppliers and leading DIY retail chains and builders’ merchants in the UK market were conducted. Semi-structured interview and nonparticipant observation were used to collect data.

Findings and Originality: The strategic aspects of the distribution channel, especially the distribution channel for low value and bulky products-wood based products, have received little research attention. The results of our case studies show that multi-location strategy is common for retailers. Manufacturer brands are almost non-existing in the timber section, where retailer brands are dominate. This study also indicates that instead of passively taking over the delivery service from retailers, supplier’s proactive strategic moves, such as becoming a “one-stop shop” supplier for retailers by providing complete product portfolios and wide range of service solutions, are changing the structure of supply chain.

Research Impact: It is important to note that distribution channel, a field combining marketing and logistics, provides rich research opportunities. From a theoretical perspective, this paper aims to provide insights into the strategic management of distribution channels and its impact on the value of offerings.

Practical Impact: Findings from the case studies suggest that retail chains are looking for large suppliers that carry comprehensive product assortment and offer distribution solution as well as in-store support. Consequently, suppliers that used to be production oriented need to widen their focus further down the supply chain, in order to develop offerings that are more aligned with the development in the retail markets. Strategically managed distribution channel is an area that deserves suppliers to pay attention on because it can be a source of long-term competitive advantage.

Keyword
Distribution channel, DIY retailers, builders’ merchants, timber products
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88479 (URN)
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
2. Vertical integration in supply chains: driving forces and consequences for a manufacturers downstream integration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vertical integration in supply chains: driving forces and consequences for a manufacturers downstream integration
2012 (English)In: Supply chain management, ISSN 1359-8546, E-ISSN 1758-6852, Vol. 17, no 2, 187-201 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - Strategic concentration is a key issue for manufacturing companies when designing a supply chain. As a corporate strategy and a supply chain governance strategy, vertical integration relates to organisational economics and strategic supply chain management. Numerous explanations have been created for vertical integration, and transaction cost economics (TCE) provides a theoretical basis to help understand the process. However, the current popularity of vertical integration seems inspired by something more than altering industry structure and minimising cost which are the traditionally accepted explanations for vertical integration This paper aims to explore the driving forces for vertical integration, particularly downstream integration of distribution, and the consequences of vertical integration in a manufacturer-distributor-reseller chain. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanDesign/methodology/approach - This study adopted an exploratory case study approach to examine a Swedish-based timber manufacturer that vertically integrated a distribution centre in the UK, which made it a direct supplier to DIY retailers and builders merchants. Data were collected primarily through open-ended, face-to-face interviews. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanFindings - The study found that the most important factors driving the manufacturers vertical integration of distribution were the demands of large retail chains and the manufacturers decisions to focus on developing its positioning strategy in the supply chain. Vertical integration has transformed the manufacturer into a supplier to large timber products resellers, offering the firm a greater potential to provide integrated solutions and, therefore, become a strategic partner to its customers. less thanbrgreater than less thanbrgreater thanOriginality/value - This empirical study examined a building material distribution channel, a subject that has rarely been studied. Study results add empirical evidence to explanations and impacts of vertical integration, especially the integration of customer interface.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald, 2012
Keyword
Vertical integration, Supply chain integration, Downstream integration, Building materials, Retailing, Merchanting, Vertical marketing, Sweden
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-77344 (URN)10.1108/13598541211212915 (DOI)000303091900006 ()
Available from: 2012-05-11 Created: 2012-05-11 Last updated: 2017-12-07
3. Drivers of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationships: Results from new product launches in the building material distribution channels
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Drivers of customer value in the supplier-reseller relationships: Results from new product launches in the building material distribution channels
(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
Customer value, value drivers, wood products, builders’ merchants, building material distribution, distribution channels, new product launches
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88480 (URN)
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
4. Processes of new product launches: Case studies of wood product suppliers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Processes of new product launches: Case studies of wood product suppliers
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Previous studies have shown that a strong launch effort is fundamental to new product success. Most new product development (NPD) studies focus on the entire process; few consider the process of the new product launch stage alone. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what actually happens in that process.

Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on exploratory case studies. Evidence is drawn from four wood product suppliers based in Sweden. Eight semistructured interviews and one workshop with managers working with top management and in R&D, marketing, and sales were conducted to collect data. Pattern-matching logic was the primary data analysis technique.

Findings: Results largely support the relevance of strategic and tactical launch decision variables for a new product launch. They also show that the new product launch process can generally be divided into strategic planning, selling and negotiating with customer/channel partner, sales of new products, and launch evaluation stages. This study argues that distribution channel strategy of new product launch should be regarded as a dimension of strategic decisions rather than tactical decisions, because it is made in the early stages of new product launches, and has significant impact on tactical launch decisions regarding the marketing mix.

Originality/value: In theoretical terms, this study contributes to an understanding of the process of the new product launch that has been given scant theoretical or empirical attention in either new product or marketing literature. We provide empirical evidence from wood product suppliers to support the separation of strategic launch variables and tactical launch variables.

Keyword
New product launch, Process, Strategic decision, Tactical decisions, Wood products
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88481 (URN)
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
5. In Search of the New Product Launch Process from the Reseller Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>In Search of the New Product Launch Process from the Reseller Perspective
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: It has been proven that a proficient product launch is one of the specific priorities that best separate successful from failed product innovations. However, a majority of existing product launch research takes the supplier’s perspective and focuses on the aspects managed by suppliers, while the role of resellers has been largely overlooked. To contribute to this research gap, the purpose of this study is to investigate the new product launch process from the reseller perspective by taking an exploratory approach. Two research questions were examined in order to increase understandings of reseller new product launches: (1) what is process of the reseller new product launch? (2) What is the role of reseller in new product launches?

Method: Two leading building material resellers in Sweden were chosen as the case companies. Data was primarily collected through open-ended interviews with managers at the central level. In the case of Beijer, a questionnaire was used to collection opinions of managers at the branch level.

Findings: The process of the reseller new product launch can be described in six steps: (1) preliminary agreement with supplier, (2) product/focus group review, (3) launch plan setup, (4) management review, (5) sales of new products, and (6) launch evaluation. The research finding supports the division between strategic and tactical launch decisions. The process of the new product launch includes new product adoption decisions and new product sales at stores. When selecting new products, resellers pay attention not only to product variables, but also to profit and category variables. Providing marketing-, sales-, and merchandising-related services are key roles that resellers perform for suppliers.

Originality/value: First, this study responds to the research demand around launch activity conceptualisation. Second it adds to existing knowledge about the role of resellers.

Keyword
New product launch, Reseller, Process, Role, Builders’ merchants
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88482 (URN)
Available from: 2013-02-08 Created: 2013-02-08 Last updated: 2013-02-08Bibliographically approved
6. Classification and retail positioning into strategic groups: The case of DIY retailers and builders' merchants in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Classification and retail positioning into strategic groups: The case of DIY retailers and builders' merchants in Sweden
2012 (English)In: International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, ISSN 0959-0552, E-ISSN 1758-6690, Vol. 40, no 8, 570-591 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – To understand the potential for various types of retailers, it is essential to appreciate retailer' positioning in the marketplace. Positioning has a critical effect on retailers' competitiveness and performance. Despite the significance and popularity of retail positioning, a few gaps remain that prompt the need for this research. First, little has been written about positioning in the building materials distribution industry, as compared with other retail sectors. Second, the retail classification literature has rarely included positioning as a dimension of retailer characteristics, although, in essence, they are both ways to understand retailer strategy and behaviour. To fill these research gaps, the objective of this research is to contribute to retail positioning research, using the Swedish building material distribution industry as a study setting. Specifically, it has two key goals: to develop a classification framework focusing on the Swedish building material distribution market; and to analyse those distributors by strategic groups and identify their common business priorities.

Design/methodology/approach – This research looked at a majority of building material distributors in the Swedish market. A total of 23 interviews were conducted with managing directors or similar from case companies. Interviews ranged from 40 to 90 minutes in duration. This research adapted materials developed for other purposes in order to enhance and strengthen primary data.

Findings – This study develops a classification framework of building material distributors and provides an overview of distributors operating in the Swedish markets. Drawing on theory from retail positioning and classification, the research result suggests that the studied distributors can be classified into three strategic groups: DIY-service focused; DIY-cost focused; and builders' merchant (BM)-service focused. Research also showed that distinguishing building material distributor by customer type is not as effective as it once was; there is a trend of internationalisation in the Swedish building material distribution industry; and distributors exert growing central control over certain areas, such as purchasing and marketing.

Originality/value – The building material distribution industry attracts little research attention when compared to other sectors, for instance food and grocery retailing. Given this, the value of this article lies in identifying the leading companies in Sweden and offering strategic analysis of their business developments and focus. Insights into building material distributors' supply requirements are provided.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012
Keyword
Builders' merchants, Building material, Buildings, Classification, DIY retailers, Materials, Retail positioning, Strategic groups, Sweden
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81410 (URN)10.1108/09590551211245399 (DOI)
Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-13 Last updated: 2017-12-07

Open Access in DiVA

omslag(9601 kB)281 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 9601 kBChecksum SHA-512
5cfe8f123afa7a84e991576bf3da0f32e8fba0b92def3ff38168246d1927077b97db0ff163b546aa79355b6d605f403f22e68c335b6d19892149ec66563c5b9f
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Guan, Wei

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Guan, Wei
By organisation
Industrial Marketing and Industrial EconomicsThe Institute of Technology
Economics and Business

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 2738 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf