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Identification and Categorization of Order Qualifiers and Order Winners in Knowledge Intensive Business Services

Holmberg, Ewa LU and Ida, Moflag (2013) In ISRN LUTVDG/TVTM--2013/5258--/SE TMA820 20131
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
The increased number of companies supplying knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) has caused a highly competitive market during the recent decade, where actors on the market struggle to gain competitive advantage and especially vulnerable are companies that offer engineering services. Underlying factors for the difficulties to provide competitive services on the market for engineering services reside in the low entry barriers, a lot of players on the market, upcoming consultant brokers, a constantly accelerating technological development and similar value propositions among consultancy companies in this field.
Due to these circumstances there is a need to find out what customers truly value when they purchasing engineering... (More)
The increased number of companies supplying knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) has caused a highly competitive market during the recent decade, where actors on the market struggle to gain competitive advantage and especially vulnerable are companies that offer engineering services. Underlying factors for the difficulties to provide competitive services on the market for engineering services reside in the low entry barriers, a lot of players on the market, upcoming consultant brokers, a constantly accelerating technological development and similar value propositions among consultancy companies in this field.
Due to these circumstances there is a need to find out what customers truly value when they purchasing engineering services. Firstly, which requirements must a company fulfill to qualify in the order process on the market for KIBS? And more importantly, which specific factors influence the customer’s final choice of supplier in this market? In order to answer these questions, this master thesis aims to identify and categorize order qualifier and order winner criteria in the KIBS industry. Furthermore, an objective is to understand the underlying factors, which impact the customer’s categorization of the identified criteria.
The results from the competitive factors identified in the KIBS research and the already existing theories regarding order qualifying and order-winning criteria are combined into a theoretical framework. In order to gain deeper practical knowledge of the features customers consider as valuable in an engineering service, interviews with purchasers and development managers are conducted. The findings from the interviews are integrated with the preexisting theoretical template, resulting in a modified framework that takes empirical findings in account. Moreover, the interviews made it clear that it is not possible to divide the criteria into either order qualifying or order winning criteria. Therefore, a new category was added to the framework, which includes factors that are considered to be value adding, but neither order qualifying nor order winning. Finally, a framework of the identified and categorized order qualifiers, order winners and value adding factors in the knowledge intensive business service was developed.
Due to the lack of appropriate theory that connects order qualifier and order-winner theory with knowledge intensive business services, this thesis bridge the gap between the two theoretical areas. Therefore, the main contribution to the academia is the identified and categorized order qualifier and order-winner criteria on the KIBS market. The identification of these criteria stresses what the customers value when purchasing engineering services, and the categorization of these criteria express the different importance of the factors. The latter enables consultancy companies to make an efficient prioritization of which criteria they should focus on while overlooking their value propositions. (Less)
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author
Holmberg, Ewa LU and Ida, Moflag
supervisor
organization
course
TMA820 20131
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
order qualifier, order winner, knowledge intensive business service, value-adding activities, value driver, engineering services, consultancy companies.
publication/series
ISRN LUTVDG/TVTM--2013/5258--/SE
report number
258
ISSN
1651-0100
language
English
id
3807219
date added to LUP
2014-12-22 10:21:07
date last changed
2014-12-22 10:21:07
@misc{3807219,
  abstract     = {The increased number of companies supplying knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) has caused a highly competitive market during the recent decade, where actors on the market struggle to gain competitive advantage and especially vulnerable are companies that offer engineering services. Underlying factors for the difficulties to provide competitive services on the market for engineering services reside in the low entry barriers, a lot of players on the market, upcoming consultant brokers, a constantly accelerating technological development and similar value propositions among consultancy companies in this field.
Due to these circumstances there is a need to find out what customers truly value when they purchasing engineering services. Firstly, which requirements must a company fulfill to qualify in the order process on the market for KIBS? And more importantly, which specific factors influence the customer’s final choice of supplier in this market? In order to answer these questions, this master thesis aims to identify and categorize order qualifier and order winner criteria in the KIBS industry. Furthermore, an objective is to understand the underlying factors, which impact the customer’s categorization of the identified criteria. 
The results from the competitive factors identified in the KIBS research and the already existing theories regarding order qualifying and order-winning criteria are combined into a theoretical framework. In order to gain deeper practical knowledge of the features customers consider as valuable in an engineering service, interviews with purchasers and development managers are conducted. The findings from the interviews are integrated with the preexisting theoretical template, resulting in a modified framework that takes empirical findings in account. Moreover, the interviews made it clear that it is not possible to divide the criteria into either order qualifying or order winning criteria. Therefore, a new category was added to the framework, which includes factors that are considered to be value adding, but neither order qualifying nor order winning. Finally, a framework of the identified and categorized order qualifiers, order winners and value adding factors in the knowledge intensive business service was developed.
Due to the lack of appropriate theory that connects order qualifier and order-winner theory with knowledge intensive business services, this thesis bridge the gap between the two theoretical areas. Therefore, the main contribution to the academia is the identified and categorized order qualifier and order-winner criteria on the KIBS market. The identification of these criteria stresses what the customers value when purchasing engineering services, and the categorization of these criteria express the different importance of the factors. The latter enables consultancy companies to make an efficient prioritization of which criteria they should focus on while overlooking their value propositions.},
  author       = {Holmberg, Ewa and Ida, Moflag},
  issn         = {1651-0100},
  keyword      = {order qualifier,order winner,knowledge intensive business service,value-adding activities,value driver,engineering services,consultancy companies.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {ISRN LUTVDG/TVTM--2013/5258--/SE},
  title        = {Identification and Categorization of Order Qualifiers and Order Winners in Knowledge Intensive Business Services},
  year         = {2013},
}