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Determinants for order-fulfilment strategies in engineer-to-order companies: Insights from the machinery industry

Cannas, Violetta, Gosling, Jonathan ORCID:, Pero, Margherita and Rossi, Tommaso 2020. Determinants for order-fulfilment strategies in engineer-to-order companies: Insights from the machinery industry. International Journal of Production Economics 228 , 107743. 10.1016/j.ijpe.2020.107743

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Recent empirical studies have refined our understanding of engineer-to-order (ETO) situations, supporting the existence of different order-fulfilment strategies based on the degree of customer involvement in the engineering and production activities, which differs depending on the strategic fit with the environment in which the company operates. Despite the importance of this finding, limited attempts have been made to comprehensively understand the determinants for this strategic choice in ETO companies. To overcome this gap, this study aimed to investigate the sources of differentiation between the environments that ETO companies can face and the ways of reacting to strategically fit the order-fulfilment strategy. Therefore, this research analysed the existing literature through a contingency theory lens and performed a multiple case-study research in a specific ETO sector, i.e. the machinery industry. The study identified five different order-fulfilment strategies implemented in the machinery industry to provide different product families to the market. For each strategy, the different environment characteristics were defined, and the performance outcome was measured, explaining the rationale for the positioning of the product families in different strategies. The findings of this study have two main contributions. First, the study contributes to theory by deepening and refining the analysis of contingencies for choosing different order-fulfilment strategies in the ETO context. Second, the study provides practical guidelines to ETO companies that want to adapt their order-fulfilment strategies to the unexpected or planned changes in their environment.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0925-5273
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 March 2020
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 07:01

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