Development and implementation of customer solutions: A study of process dynamics and market shaping

Sergio Biggemann*, Christian Kowalkowski, Jane Maley, Staffan Brege

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


A broad, dynamic network perspective on solution processes remains scarce. This article presents the process of developing and implementing customer solutions and its effects on the wider business environment by investigating customers and suppliers in the global mining industry (Australia, Chile, and Sweden), analyzing the deployment of a new customer solution, and assessing the changes to the competitive environment and focal firms' relationships with other customers and suppliers. It shows that the forces that drive customer and supplier interests and motivation to co-develop customer solutions may change over time, thus redefining the aim and scope of solutions and creating failure risks. Customers present problems; suppliers respond, on the basis of not only the feasibility of the customer-specific solution but also of their evaluation of future solutions in a broader market; then suppliers aim to standardize successful solutions across markets. Customers want close supplier relationships and unique solutions but also like standardized and repeatable solutions, so they can share development costs with competitors and expose the supplier to competition to avoid lock-in effects. From a network perspective, a novel solution can have a market-shaping effect and evoke reactions from other actors who want to enhance their market position. However, these changes are not necessarily deliberate, and the dynamics that market introductions of solutions trigger may be difficult to predict.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1083-1092
Number of pages10
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Co-creation
  • Customer solutions
  • Market dynamics
  • Mining industry
  • Project


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