Purpose – Industry 4.0 is dramatically affecting businesses behaviours and strategies, transforming products design, manufacture, operations and services. An outcome of this transformation is digital servitization. This paper aims to contribute to the extant literature about digital servitization in B2B contexts by analysing how I4.0-based servitization affects the quality of supplier–customer relationships. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted a qualitative methodology based on an exploratory multiple case study. In particular, the study included 22 Italian B2B manufacturing firms whose I4.0-based digital servitization approaches are described and, then, analysed in relation to the quality of supplier– customer relationships. Findings – The access to customers and data is critical to enable advanced digital services and for improving relationship quality; the levels of relational intimacy and informational openness lead to two subsequent levels of data-driven efficiency and data-driven effectiveness, impacting significantly on relationship quality and enabling relational innovation. Originality/value – The research explores the link, so far underestimated, between digital servitization and relationship quality in industrial contexts.

Fourth Industrial Revolution, Digital Servitization and Relationship Quality in Italian B2B Manufacturing Firms. An Exploratory Study

Ciasullo Maria Vincenza
;
2020-01-01

Abstract

Purpose – Industry 4.0 is dramatically affecting businesses behaviours and strategies, transforming products design, manufacture, operations and services. An outcome of this transformation is digital servitization. This paper aims to contribute to the extant literature about digital servitization in B2B contexts by analysing how I4.0-based servitization affects the quality of supplier–customer relationships. Design/methodology/approach – The authors adopted a qualitative methodology based on an exploratory multiple case study. In particular, the study included 22 Italian B2B manufacturing firms whose I4.0-based digital servitization approaches are described and, then, analysed in relation to the quality of supplier– customer relationships. Findings – The access to customers and data is critical to enable advanced digital services and for improving relationship quality; the levels of relational intimacy and informational openness lead to two subsequent levels of data-driven efficiency and data-driven effectiveness, impacting significantly on relationship quality and enabling relational innovation. Originality/value – The research explores the link, so far underestimated, between digital servitization and relationship quality in industrial contexts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/4748919
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