Vurglics, S. (2017). The influence of integration mechanisms between sales and operations towards innovative service development [Master Thesis, Technische Universität Wien; Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien]. reposiTUm. http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12708/158642
Service innovation; Customer incorporation; Integration mechanisms; Sales and Operations; Collaboration between Sales and Operations
The following work dealt with two topics of legitimate interest within the eld of management research. First of all, ways for improved collaboration by evaluation of integration mechanisms between strategic functions - in this case Sales and Operations - which were tested for R&D and Marketing based on a model applied by Leenders &Wierenga (2002). The second topic to tackle was how customer incorporation works as an integration mechanisms as well as towards service innovation. This is an omnipresent topic when it comes to sustaining the business and increasing overall performance. Both subjects were identied to majorly inuence strategic t and therefore considered as complementary regarding the identication of integration mecha- nisms. Further the struggles between Sales and Operations are well dened within the academic research. This work investigated already tested tools and methods for a better integration be- tween both strategic functions and the customer and shall ll a gap for a better cooperation between these strategic functions. The introduced phenomena were analyzed within the case of one business unit of the company Oerlikon Surface Solutions AG called Oerlikon Industrial Solutions (OIS). Following business unit is a market leader within the eld of wear resistant coatings in various industries such as tooling, automotive, aerospace and medical. Reasons for choosing this particular case was close proximity to gain data and insights for analysis as well as the potential for service innovation. OIS obtains a high service network with around 109 facili- ties all over the globe. A case-study methodology was chosen as a research methodology and the questionnaire as method of choice combined with some triangulation to support the results. To gain as much information as possible out of this single-case-study a representative group of 56 people out of OIS's mid-level to upper-level management was selected. The group was evenly split between Sales and Operations functions in order to stay unbiased and get an objective feedback. Following identied integration mechanisms were requested to be evaluated by the participants, top management support process, performance evaluation, cross-functional teams & structure, IT & communication systems, training & education, business forecasting tools and customer incorporation. All identied integration mechanisms were evaluated as positively contributing towards better collaboration between the two strategic functions. Some were per- ceived as state of the art such as IT & communication systems while some were under rated for instance top-management support process. Moreover 5 customer incorporation methods were analyzed in detail and recommendation towards implementation at OIS were given. These were suggestions such as conducting projects with participatory design, customer group involvement, conversational approach, customer driven development and lead-user methods. For future research a follow-up thesis within this eld to test how the business unit OIS evolved through the certain adaptions should be made to collect more insights about the eect of the customer integration mechanisms plus the improvement of internal collaboration between strategic functions through integration mechanisms and how this relates with new service solutions.