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Title: An investigation of front-end processes for manufacturers offering customised products to industrial markets
Author: Bramham, Johanna
ISNI:       0000 0001 3476 7347
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2007
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The study identifies an unexplored but important area of management practice; that associated with the management and coordination of responses to enquiries that require some level of product customisation for Individual customer applications. A two stage empirical study has been conducted with manufacturers of complex technical products mainly for industrial markets. The study focused on 'Front-End' processes that are relevant in responding to customer requests for customised products. These have been analysed using a set of tools developed to capture complex Interactions and priorities in managers' activities and roles. The first stage of the study identified an emergent framework of four sets of activities: Diagnosing, Routing, Resourclng and Archiving. In the second phase, the relationships between different management behaviours and their contexts are analysed using the framework. Analysis of the four 'Decision Centres' has allowed shared goals, customer value and the challenges that arise in proposal processes to be investigated. A new model of Front-End processes Incorporating the Decision Centres has been developed from this extensive study of practice. It is based on four key variables: the roles adopted by managers in structuring activities, the integration of actiVities, the uncertainty of involvement in processes and the performance outcomes of processes. The study has Important implications for process design and managerial practice through: (1) Examination of how managers can contribute to the coordination of resources associated with the handling of customer enqUiries. The model differentiates between process-based and service-based performance outcomes to provide assessment of the wider contributions of Front-End processes to business strategy and customer relationships.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available