Servitization in global business-to-business distribution: The central activities of manufacturers
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Manufacturers' servitization development is a prevalent trend in the current business world. Companies then aim to increase customer closeness and complement product offerings with services. However, extant literature on distribution and marketing channels literature remains limited in terms of the implications of servitization for global business-to-business distribution. Therefore, this qualitative multiple case study identifies the central activities of servitizing manufacturers in global distribution. The study concludes with the following research propositions: Servitizing manufacturers develop global service portfolios and customize offerings according to local customer characteristics; build global operation models and adjust local service processes; ensure global brand coherency and design the customer experience according to local customer expectations; and create global value propositions and enhance local value co-creation with business customers. The study outlines managerial implications in terms of organizing global distribution. It also discusses new knowledge sharing and capability needs regarding solution sales, service provision and customer relationship management.