The competitive and multifaceted setting of today’s marketplace require that new services should be well analysed and designed before they have a chance to successfully break and enter into a new market. Unfortunately there are numerous difficulties regarding both marketing as well as the linkage between marketing and internal operations. This thesis focuses on this link in the context of logistics services particularly centred at the German metal processing industry. Three research questions were asked. (1) Seen from a view concerning logistics services, what are appropriate variables for segmenting a new market, in this case the German metal processing industry? (2) How can evaluation of market segments be conducted recognising a company’s specific profile (in this case SKF Logistics Services)? (3) What are order-winners and qualifiers criteria for the identified segments and how can they be used in decisions regarding allocation of company resources and market entry?
The objective of this thesis was to form a theoretic framework for assessing a new market for logistics services. SKF Logistics Services commenced the work and determined the scope. Yet a framework, which can be used on any market in context of logistics services was developed. However, the framework was tested recognizing the specific profile of SKF Logistics Services.
Several research methods were combined to answer the research questions. A literature review was conducted in order to lay ground for the theoretical framework. Secondary data was purchased from the Verband der Vereine Creditreform and segmentation was carried out with the aim of finding companies, which SKF Logistics Services was particularly well suited to serve. Further work in form of a survey questioning companies about their logistics structure was then performed. The survey findings were followed up with interviews intended at supporting the findings. The research methods and data, which have been used, were part of a triangulation aimed at increasing the trustworthiness of the work.
The analysis of the situation showed that a nested segmentation approach first selecting sub-industries, followed by total revenue and geographic scope (Germany) was well suited. When segments were evaluated it was asked where SKF Logistics Services was most capable of optimally using resources and as a result succeed. This has in this thesis mainly been done in two ways. First, it has been assessed which criteria segments must fulfil in order to be of interest for SKF Logistics Services. Secondly, segments fulfilling these criteria have been selected.
Order-winners and qualifiers have then been sought so that the current and future markets could be effectively served by SKF Logistics Services’ internal operations. With help from an importance-performance matrix improvement needs has then been analysed in order to find where resources should be allocated. It is found that SKF Logistics Service should work with improvements regarding transparency of costs, contact and communication with customers as well as increasing flexibility for customers’ needs.
Author: Wastrom, Karl
Source: Lulea University of Technology
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