Tampere University of Technology

TUTCRIS Research Portal

Differentiation value through services in a manufacturer's delivery chain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)763-782
Number of pages20
JournalService industries Journal
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The delivery of industrial goods includes various possibilities for service business. Previous research has concentrated on third-party logistics (3PL) providers’ perspective on service opportunities. This study takes the manufacturer’s perspective in inter-organizational relationships and investigates the potential for differentiation value though services associated with the delivery of industrial goods. Field observation was carried out on three high-volume construction component deliveries, to uncover differentiation value drivers and the emergence of service opportunities in a manufacturer’s delivery chain. The results complement earlier 3PL-centered goods delivery research by showing that the manufacturer’s unique product and process competences, and activities in the delivery chain drive differentiation value and enable new service opportunities. The findings, thereby, draw attention to manufacturers and their competences as sources of added-value service in the delivery of industrial goods. Manufacturing firms have various options for differentiation and centrality in the inter-organizational network through cooperation with third parties. The results reveal that third parties can be hidden sources of added customer value in the goods delivery chain. The differentiation value for different firms in the industrial goods’ delivery chains can emerge when firms begin to develop and offer services to each other, and therefore proactive and in-depth analysis of their customers’ differentiation-oriented value hierarchies is required.


  • perceived value, service process, third-party logistics, value chain

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland