Industrial buying behavior in the purchasing of maintenance, repair, and operation services: case studies from the Scandinavian pulp and paper industry

The aim with this thesis is to investigate the industrial buying behavior in Scandinavian pulp and paper mills. The focus in this industry, as well as in other asset-intensive industries, has shifted from buying and selling large machine installations to a more service-oriented perspective. An important part of industrial services is MRO services, and it is therefore an interesting area to investigate. The case study in this thesis has been conducted at five Swedish pulp and paper mills, considered to be representative for Metso Paper’s customers in Scandinavia. Data was collected through personal interviews with people at three different levels within each mill. The industrial buying behavior of Scandinavian pulp and paper mills when purchasing MRO services essentially corresponds to the theories about this area. The buying process follows the steps in the buy- phase model with only minor modifications. All roles in the buying center, except the gatekeeper, were detected and the most influential members were identified. The most important factor affecting the industrial buying behavior was found to be the relationships between the buyer and the seller. The purchase of MRO services differ from other types of industrial services, for instance audit services. No specific theories regarding MRO services have been found. General theories regarding industrial services are not applicable to MRO services, and therefore this is an area in which further research should be conducted.

Author: Stenberg, Anneli; Wallin Gyokeres, Annica

Source: Lulea University of Technology

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