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Business Case for Indirect Sales - How a business case can work as a tool for generating support for a change project

Anvret, Fredrik and Mauléon Lundberg, Malin (2012) MIO920
Production Management
Abstract
Background
and
the
Situation
at
Company
X
To remain competitive, it is essential for companies to take advantage of
new business opportunities. However, seizing new opportunities often imply
changes within the organization, and projects associated with change are
bound to encounter resistance. To efficiently manage change and thereby
avoid resistance and engage in measures that generate support for change, is
therefore important in order to successfully address an opportunity. As
change is always unique, no generic tools for managing change exist.
However, in order to generate support it is essential to clearly communicate
the impact and benefits of a project, which a business case (BC) is a
common tool for.
Company X has... (More)
Background
and
the
Situation
at
Company
X
To remain competitive, it is essential for companies to take advantage of
new business opportunities. However, seizing new opportunities often imply
changes within the organization, and projects associated with change are
bound to encounter resistance. To efficiently manage change and thereby
avoid resistance and engage in measures that generate support for change, is
therefore important in order to successfully address an opportunity. As
change is always unique, no generic tools for managing change exist.
However, in order to generate support it is essential to clearly communicate
the impact and benefits of a project, which a business case (BC) is a
common tool for.
Company X has identified the indirect sales channel, where products are
sold through partners, as an opportunity to increase sales. Certain regions
within Company X utilize an indirect sales channel today, however the
majority of the regions solely sell products directly to end customers.
Increasing the use of partners as an extended sales force is a way of
reaching new customers and broadening the customer base. In order to
address this opportunity the Indirect Sales Program (IS Program) has been
formed. The IS Program aims at establishing and expanding indirect sales in
all regions, and the program is currently developing a new indirect sales
IV
model including tools and processes that enable regions to efficiently sell
products via partners.
Problem
Discussion
All regions within Company X are responsible for their own business
decisions, and to make the decision of establishing indirect sales would
imply many changes for the regional organization. Also, most regions lack a
general understanding of the IS Program, the indirect sales model, and the
benefits of establishing an indirect sales channel. There is an uncertainty of
which processes to put in place, what personnel to involve, and the amount
of resources to allocate. In order to successfully establish indirect sales, the
IS program therefore needs to convince the regions to actively support and
implement the indirect sales model. A business case that communicates the
opportunity of the indirect sales channel as well as its associated benefits
and costs is consequently needed.
Purpose
The purpose of this study was to explore how a business case can work as a
tool for generating support for a change project. In order to achieve the
purpose, a business case concerning indirect sales was developed for the IS
Program. The business case was implemented in collaboration with a region
and its ability to generate support was analyzed.
Methodology
The project started with a literature study. Thereafter a regional business
case concerning the indirect sales channel at Company X was developed
through adherence to the literature study. The business case was created as
two parts; a guide and a financial model. The business case’s ability to
generate support was tested through a regional implementation, and
and
analyzed in a theoretical context. Thereafter conclusions were drawn.
Frame
of
Reference
The frame of reference introduces three theoretical fields. The first field
grants the reader an understanding of different sales channels, and more
specifically the indirect sales channel. The second field discusses business cases in general and emphasizes the business case format. This field was
used to structure the empirics and the business case development. The third
field concerns resistance to change and underlines what initiators of a
change project should do to generate support for a project. This field was
primarily used when analyzing the indirect sales business case’s ability to
generate support, however it also served as inspiration when developing the
business case. The frame of reference ends with a framework illustrating
how the theoretical fields are applied.
Conclusions
and
Recommendations
A business case can work as an efficient tool for generating support for a
change project, as the indirect sales business case had a good ability to
generate support from decision makers and implementers. However, a
business case’s ability to generate support is limited by the capabilities of
those developing and implementing it. They have to convey its message in a
convincing way and communicate the business case appropriately. When
using a business case as a tool for generating support for a change project it
is essential to identify possible uncertainties associated with the change
project, and to define if and how the business case can clarify these
uncertainties. It is also crucial to devote time to communicate its content,
and involve stakeholders and implementers in the business case
development.
The indirect sales business case’s ability to generate organizational wide
support could be enhanced by incorporating more information concerning
employees’ roles in the indirect sales business. The business case can be
improved with regards to risk assessments, investment alternatives, and
performance appraisal systems. The business case was intended to be
generic. It has however been concluded that it can never be truly generic
since all regional circumstances could not be accounted for.
As a recommendation to Company X, the implementation process should be
a collaborative process involving the IS Program and regional
representatives. The implementation should be an iterative process where
the implementation process and the business case are continuously
improved. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Anvret, Fredrik and Mauléon Lundberg, Malin
supervisor
organization
course
MIO920
year
type
M1 - University Diploma
subject
other publication id
12/5425
language
English
id
3055213
date added to LUP
2012-09-21 12:48:16
date last changed
2012-09-21 12:48:16
@misc{3055213,
  abstract     = {Background
and
the
Situation
at
Company
X
To remain competitive, it is essential for companies to take advantage of
new business opportunities. However, seizing new opportunities often imply
changes within the organization, and projects associated with change are
bound to encounter resistance. To efficiently manage change and thereby
avoid resistance and engage in measures that generate support for change, is
therefore important in order to successfully address an opportunity. As
change is always unique, no generic tools for managing change exist.
However, in order to generate support it is essential to clearly communicate
the impact and benefits of a project, which a business case (BC) is a
common tool for.
Company X has identified the indirect sales channel, where products are
sold through partners, as an opportunity to increase sales. Certain regions
within Company X utilize an indirect sales channel today, however the
majority of the regions solely sell products directly to end customers.
Increasing the use of partners as an extended sales force is a way of
reaching new customers and broadening the customer base. In order to
address this opportunity the Indirect Sales Program (IS Program) has been
formed. The IS Program aims at establishing and expanding indirect sales in
all regions, and the program is currently developing a new indirect sales
IV
model including tools and processes that enable regions to efficiently sell
products via partners.
Problem
Discussion
All regions within Company X are responsible for their own business
decisions, and to make the decision of establishing indirect sales would
imply many changes for the regional organization. Also, most regions lack a
general understanding of the IS Program, the indirect sales model, and the
benefits of establishing an indirect sales channel. There is an uncertainty of
which processes to put in place, what personnel to involve, and the amount
of resources to allocate. In order to successfully establish indirect sales, the
IS program therefore needs to convince the regions to actively support and
implement the indirect sales model. A business case that communicates the
opportunity of the indirect sales channel as well as its associated benefits
and costs is consequently needed.
Purpose
The purpose of this study was to explore how a business case can work as a
tool for generating support for a change project. In order to achieve the
purpose, a business case concerning indirect sales was developed for the IS
Program. The business case was implemented in collaboration with a region
and its ability to generate support was analyzed.
Methodology
The project started with a literature study. Thereafter a regional business
case concerning the indirect sales channel at Company X was developed
through adherence to the literature study. The business case was created as
two parts; a guide and a financial model. The business case’s ability to
generate support was tested through a regional implementation, and
and
analyzed in a theoretical context. Thereafter conclusions were drawn.
Frame
of
Reference
The frame of reference introduces three theoretical fields. The first field
grants the reader an understanding of different sales channels, and more
specifically the indirect sales channel. The second field discusses business cases in general and emphasizes the business case format. This field was
used to structure the empirics and the business case development. The third
field concerns resistance to change and underlines what initiators of a
change project should do to generate support for a project. This field was
primarily used when analyzing the indirect sales business case’s ability to
generate support, however it also served as inspiration when developing the
business case. The frame of reference ends with a framework illustrating
how the theoretical fields are applied.
Conclusions
and
Recommendations
A business case can work as an efficient tool for generating support for a
change project, as the indirect sales business case had a good ability to
generate support from decision makers and implementers. However, a
business case’s ability to generate support is limited by the capabilities of
those developing and implementing it. They have to convey its message in a
convincing way and communicate the business case appropriately. When
using a business case as a tool for generating support for a change project it
is essential to identify possible uncertainties associated with the change
project, and to define if and how the business case can clarify these
uncertainties. It is also crucial to devote time to communicate its content,
and involve stakeholders and implementers in the business case
development.
The indirect sales business case’s ability to generate organizational wide
support could be enhanced by incorporating more information concerning
employees’ roles in the indirect sales business. The business case can be
improved with regards to risk assessments, investment alternatives, and
performance appraisal systems. The business case was intended to be
generic. It has however been concluded that it can never be truly generic
since all regional circumstances could not be accounted for.
As a recommendation to Company X, the implementation process should be
a collaborative process involving the IS Program and regional
representatives. The implementation should be an iterative process where
the implementation process and the business case are continuously
improved.},
  author       = {Anvret, Fredrik and Mauléon Lundberg, Malin},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Business Case for Indirect Sales - How a business case can work as a tool for generating support for a change project},
  year         = {2012},
}