New Approaches to Improve the Value of Solutions in Business Networks
By applying an interorganisational and interactive approach to business-to-business solutions, the thesis investigates how the efficiency and value of solutions could be further improved. For actors to improve the value of solutions, the thesis argues for an interaction-centric approach to solutions, where the actors jointly address the implications of connectedness of solutions resulting from interdependencies across firm boundaries. Also involving a specific focus on maintenance solutions for heavy vehicles, the thesis recommends how managers in the industry could improve the efficiency of transport by jointly coordinate the activities and resources involved in, or influencing, the maintenance.
Firms are interconnected by business relationships and form business networks. In business networks, firms interact to develop, sell, purchase, and use solutions. Through business relationships, firms also influence each other through linking activities and combining resources across firm boundaries, resulting in that the solutions become connected and interdependent. As a consequence, changing a solution at one end of the business network may drive the need for changes to other solutions elsewhere in the network.
The research takes an interorganisational and interactive approach to solutions in business networks and explores why and how solutions are connected and interdependent. A key conclusion is that an interaction-centric approach to solutions, where actors jointly organise the activities and resources involved in solutions, could improve the efficiency and value of solutions. The thesis develops a conceptual model of solutions in business networks and based on that model elaborate implications for future research and recommendations for managers.
With a specific focus on maintenance solutions for heavy vehicles used for road transport, the thesis also investigates how the efficiency of vehicle utilisation and transport could be further improved. The findings highlight that the activities and resources involved in maintenance solutions are connected to the activities and resources of other solutions, such as the transport of goods. For that reason, the thesis recommends hauliers, transport buyers, vehicle manufacturers, and workshops to jointly coordinate solutions in order to improve the efficiency of vehicle maintenance, vehicle utilisation, and road transport.