Location of Repository

Organizing for solutions: systems seller vs systems integrator

By Andrew Davies, Tim Brady and Michael Hobday

Abstract

This paper aims to examine how firms are organizing to provide integrated solutions: a business model for the supply of capital goods based on the provision of products and services as integrated solutions to individual customer's needs. The industrial marketing literature suggests that the origins of this business model can be traced back to early 1960s when firms adopted strategies and organizations for ‘systems selling’. The marketing\ud literature helps us to identify two contrasting types of organizations: (1) the vertically-integrated systems seller that produces all the product and service components in a system; and (2) the systems integrator that coordinates integration of components supplied by external firms. The paper uses these two ideal types to analyse the strategies and organizations of five case study firms that have recently attempted to move into the provision of\ud integrated solutions. It argues that there is no evidence to support the continuing dominance of the systems seller or a simple transition from systems selling to systems integration. A more complex pattern of organizational forms is emerging, combining elements of both systems selling (i.e. vertical integration into services) and systems integration

Topics: N215 Change and Innovation, N213 Project management
Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2007
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2006.04.009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.brighton.ac.uk:2475

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1983). After the sale is over…’, Harvard Business Review, SeptemberOctober
  2. (2006). Building an integrated solutions business’, MIT Sloan Management Review, forthcoming Spring
  3. (1985). Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance, doi
  4. (2001). Customer Solutions: Building a Strategically Aligned Business Model’. Insights: Organization & Strategic Leadership Practice.
  5. (2000). Customer Solutions: From Pilots to Profits’, in Viewpoint.
  6. (2003). Delivering Integrated Solutions’,
  7. (2000). Design Rules: The Power of Modularity, doi
  8. (2002). Designing Organizations: An Executive Guide to Strategy, Structure, and Process,
  9. (1952). Development of large-scale organization: Electrical manufacturing around 1900’,
  10. (2002). Fragile sector, robust practice: project ecologies in new media’, doi
  11. (2000). From product innovation to solutions innovation: a new paradigm for competitive advantage’, doi
  12. (1997). GEC Alstom in career discussions’,
  13. (1996). Global key account management and systems selling’, doi
  14. (1999). Global Outsourcing and the Networked Economy: Telecom’s Opportunity to Deliver Real Competitive Advantage’, Cable and Wireless.
  15. (1999). Go Downstream: The New Profit Imperative in Manufacturing’. Harvard Business Review, September-October:
  16. Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Practice and Principles, doi
  17. (2001). Integrated Solutions: The New Economy between Manufacturing and Services’.
  18. (2001). Knowledge specialization and the boundaries of the firm: why do firms know more than they make?’, doi
  19. (2003). Managing the transition from products to services’, doi
  20. (2004). Moving base into high-value integrated solutions: a value stream approach’, doi
  21. (2000). Organizational Capabilities and Learning in Complex Product Systems: Towards Repeatable Solutions’. doi
  22. (2002). Organizing to Deliver Solutions’. doi
  23. (1983). Product systems marketing’, doi
  24. (1996). Project marketing and systems selling – in search of frameworks and insights’, doi
  25. (1990). Scale and Scope: The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism, doi
  26. (1998). Solution selling and project marketing: a convergence towards customer intimacy for joint construction of offer and demand’,
  27. (1986). Strategy for systems sellers: a grid approach’,
  28. (2005). Systems Integration: doi
  29. (1973). Systems selling as a strategy on industrial markets’, doi
  30. (1993). Systems selling in the aircraft industry’, doi
  31. (1976). Systems selling: problems and benefits for buyers and sellers’, doi
  32. (2000). Technology threatens sector’s profits, Companies need to shift business focus to service, upgrade sales’,
  33. (1996). The changing boundaries of systems companies’, doi
  34. (1999). The Delta Model: Adaptive Management for a Changing World’. Sloan Management Review,
  35. (1985). The practice of systems marketing in the French packaging industry’, doi
  36. (1998). The Profit Zone: How Strategic Business Design Will Lead You to Tomorrow’s Profits. doi
  37. (2003). The Three Challenges of Corporate Consulting’, doi
  38. (1999). The Truth About Customer Solutions’, in Viewpoint.
  39. (1996). Value Migration: How to Think Several Moves Ahead of the Competition. doi
  40. (2002). Who Said Elephants Can’t Dance? Inside IBM’s Historic Turnaround.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.