Outsourcing of heavy vehicle maintenance: the implications of embeddedness
Paper in proceedings, 2018
The objective of this paper (in work) is to explore the outsourcing of heavy vehicle maintenance from an interorganizational perspective. Specifically, the paper aims to identify and analyze some of the implications resulting from the embeddedness of the maintenance solution, its provider and its buyer, and, how these implications influence a hauler’s decision of make-or-buy. The paper draws on the results from an on-going case study focusing the marketing and purchasing of solutions in a business network context. The empirical data regards firms concerned by maintenance of vehicles in a road freight transport setting. While literature on outsourcing tend to focus on the supplier, the buyer, or the supplier-buyer dyad, the implications of this paper point to the need for applying an interorganizational perspective when outsourcing vehicle maintenance. The supplier-buyer dyad, as well as the maintenance solution in itself, is embedded in a wider network of firms. The maintenance solution therefore influences, and is influenced by, firms and activities in the wider network. Moreover, reflecting the heterogeneous needs of stakeholders of the business network, the value of the solution will be differently perceived by different stakeholders. Hence, for suppliers and buyers striving for improving value, effectiveness and efficiency of the maintenance solutions an aggregated view of the needs is crucial.