Increasingly, companies are extending their product/service offerings, providing customers with full-service contracts. The objective of this study is to obtain enhanced insight in the factors and conditions that underlie the purchase of a full-service contract as well as DMU members' roles in this type of purchase. Full service is defined as "comprehensive bundles of products and/or services, that fully satisfy the needs and wants of a customer related to a specific event or problem." The results of an adaptive conjoint study among (potential) adopters of full-service maintenance contracts in the food and chemical industry indicated that their evaluation of full-service suppliers related to the full-service offering's effect on general plant performance rather than on specific maintenance costs. Also the level of detail of information on maintenance activities and supplier reputation were found to be highly important. Results of in-depth interviews within customer firms indicated that the DMU with respect to the purchasing of full-service contracts primarily included the maintenance manager (initiator), the plant manager (decider), and the purchasing manager (gatekeeper/purchaser).
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