Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Stategic value of solution business initiatives
Authors: Zimmer, Marcus
Salonen, Anna
Wangenheim, Florian
et. al: No
Conference details: Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM) Academic Conference 2016 : Advances in Business-to-Business Marketing, Atlanta (USA), 3-4 August 2016
Issue Date: 4-Aug-2016
Language: English
Subject (DDC): 658.4: Executive Management
Abstract: Many manufacturing firms today define themselves as “solution providers”. By means of highly customized and integrated, often bundled product-service offerings, these firms address complex business problems of customers in a holistic way. As reported frequently, however, not every solution-based project is able to generate the expected revenues or can be developed into marketable, repeatable, “productized” solution offerings. It raises the question: Why do manufacturers persist with solution business initiatives despite observed implementation hurdles and seemingly unsatisfactory results? We conducted a series of dyadic provider-customer interviews in the Swiss food processing industry and the Finnish marine equipment industry. The results suggest that – irrespective of the direct revenues generated – manufacturers persist with solution business initiatives because they benefit from the positive spillover effects on the firm’s operations at large through two mechanisms: First, a credible positioning as a solution provider communicates both the willingness and expertise to go the extra mile to understand the customer’s business problem and to finally solve it. Reference cases – in the form of published case studies of successful solution projects in cooperation with reference customers – help to foster the firm’s credibility as a solution provider from the customer’s perspective. Second, the acquired expertise gained through solution business initiatives is beneficial for developing the firm’s market offering in terms of stand-alone products and services.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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