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.

Author/s: N.Saccani, P. Johansson & M. Perona

Language: English

University: Università di Brescia, Italy & Linköpings Universitet, Sweden

Year: 2007

Click here to get it (Not for free)