The Customer as Co-Producer Article

The customer as co-producer

Solveig Wikström - College of Organization, Stockholm School, Stockholm, Laxa, sweden


A glance at what is happening in the world of business today shows that primary of organization development is currently gradually getting off products and industries. Instead, interest is concentrated on the various processes taking place about the customer. This orientation can be not fresh. Concepts such as " client orientation”, " close to the customer”, " customer segmentation” and " specific niche market marketing” happen to be well-known and much tested, along with tips about " direct marketing”, " database marketing” etc. The common denominator in all these kinds of concepts is known as a greater concentrate on the customer. An additional step forward is a conception in the customer since co-producer. The phrase by itself – the consumer as co-producer – occurs increasingly frequently in the materials (Davidow and Malone, 1992; Grönroos, 1990; Gummesson, 1991; 1993; Pine, 1993; Toffler, 1980; 1983), and we need to ask themselves whether this can be simply a variation on previous attempts to achieve the customer, or whether a routine of actions is emerging that is distinct, involving real rethinking and in many cases new thinking. The most important stage, of course , can be how much extra value is this procedure capable of producing, and exactly how much determination and action is required of both the celebrations involved. And naturally problem also arises: how large is the range of this new business logic? Could it be restricted to industrial markets with few buyers and sellers and a well-established interactive way of doing work, and to assistance markets the place that the customer by definition is definitely part of the production process? Or perhaps could it be applied to consumer markets as well? From this paper primary is for the co-production logic applied to client markets, and relating this kind of to the experience and know-how gained from industrial markets. If we want to identify the basic ingredients in this thought of the customer since co- manufacturer, we should probably look at an empirical case in which these ingredients are extremely prominent. But first, some clarification is required regarding the differences between the logic of co-production which of the classic transaction. The idea is that if the customer is conceived because co-producer, the inter- action between the celebrations should make more value than a traditional deal process, when seller and buyer fulfill briefly, exchange finished products and services and then get their separate ways. Especially the new business logic presupposes a very a lot longer relationship between buyer and seller, and a highly refined distribution of roles. It is assumed that this will make more value in many ways. Especially it is assumed that the deeper romance will create possibilities for obtaining more know-how, thus making the company better suited adapt to the customer and to present higher quality (Badaracco, 1991; Darkish, 1991; Christopher et approach., 1991; Milgrom and Roberts, 1990; Wikström et approach. 1994; Wikström and Lundkvist, 1995; Womack et al., 1990). The entire process may move more quickly, since the distinct stages in the sequential deal process (idea creation – production – marketing – consumption) change ground and assume a brand new shape. Furthermore, the more deeply interaction between seller and buyer improves the level of creativity on both sides; this in turn probably will give birth to fresh ideas and new ways of doing business. In other words co-production is seen as a way of acquiring generative knowledge as well. It sounds a seductive idea. But what can it mean in purely tangible terms – " the consumer as co-producer”? What are customer and distributor supposed to do? How exactly does the customer-market relation change, and precisely what is the effect in production and organization inside the company? We are able to illustrate this with the case of a company which we might not have anticipated to have any kind of particularly advanced ideas regarding business logic, namely a...

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