Preferred supplier programs for consulting services: An exploratory study of German client companies

J. Sieweke, Stephanie Birkner, Michael Mohe

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Research has recently provided evidence that at least some companies have involved purchasing departments in buying professional services such as management consulting services. Some departments have established preferred supplier programs (PSPs) for consulting services, i.e., programs for consultancies with whom a company seeks to build up long-term relationships. While there are several studies that analyze such programs for suppliers of goods, research on business services is limited. Our aim is to present an exploratory analysis of PSPs for consulting services. Based on a survey of German client companies, we found that the most important reason for establishing PSPs is to reduce costs and transaction costs. Furthermore, our findings revealed that companies with and without PSPs for consulting services apply high significance to relational selection criteria. Moreover, in companies with PSPs, purchasing departments are more frequently involved in selecting consultancies compared to companies without PSPs. Finally, we found that companies with and without PSPs do not differ in their assessment of problems associated with the purchasing of consulting services. The study contributes to research on the purchasing of consulting services by indicating that the consultant-manager relationship should be extended to a service triad, involving purchasing professionals, managers, and consultants. Moreover, we contribute to research on PSPs by extending the focus to PSPs for knowledge-intensive service providers. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Purchasing & Supply Management
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Exploratory study
Suppliers
Consulting
Purchasing
Consultancy
Consultants
Managers
Long-term relationships
Service provider
Professional services
Management consulting
Selection criteria
Triad
Knowledge-intensive services
Transaction costs
Business services
Costs

Cite this

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title = "Preferred supplier programs for consulting services: An exploratory study of German client companies",
abstract = "Research has recently provided evidence that at least some companies have involved purchasing departments in buying professional services such as management consulting services. Some departments have established preferred supplier programs (PSPs) for consulting services, i.e., programs for consultancies with whom a company seeks to build up long-term relationships. While there are several studies that analyze such programs for suppliers of goods, research on business services is limited. Our aim is to present an exploratory analysis of PSPs for consulting services. Based on a survey of German client companies, we found that the most important reason for establishing PSPs is to reduce costs and transaction costs. Furthermore, our findings revealed that companies with and without PSPs for consulting services apply high significance to relational selection criteria. Moreover, in companies with PSPs, purchasing departments are more frequently involved in selecting consultancies compared to companies without PSPs. Finally, we found that companies with and without PSPs do not differ in their assessment of problems associated with the purchasing of consulting services. The study contributes to research on the purchasing of consulting services by indicating that the consultant-manager relationship should be extended to a service triad, involving purchasing professionals, managers, and consultants. Moreover, we contribute to research on PSPs by extending the focus to PSPs for knowledge-intensive service providers. {\circledC} 2012 Elsevier Ltd.",
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Preferred supplier programs for consulting services: An exploratory study of German client companies. / Sieweke, J.; Birkner, Stephanie; Mohe, Michael.

In: Journal of Purchasing & Supply Management, Vol. 18, No. 3, 2012, p. 123-136.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Mohe, Michael

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