James A. Narus
James C. Anderson *
James A. Narus is Professor of Business Marketing, Babcock Graduate School of Management, Wake Forest University. James C. Anderson is the William L. Ford Distinguished Professor of Marketing and Wholesale Distribution, and Professor of Behavioral Science in Management, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. He is also the Irwin Gross Distinguished ISBM Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Business Markets (ISBM), located at Penn State University, and Visiting Research Professor, Department of Technology Management, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. The significant contributions of Jan Peter van der Hoek, Ewald Bruggeman, and Erwin van den Broek in gathering and analyzing case information are gratefully acknowledged. Please note that we prepared this case as the basis for class discussion rather than to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of an administrative situation. We have disguised some case information. Send correspondence to: James A. Narus Babcock Graduate School of Management Wake Forest University Suite 150, One Morrocroft Centre 6805 Morrison Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28226-3551 USA +1.704.365.6717 (telephone) email@example.com (e-mail) ©
2002, James C. Anderson and James A. Narus. All rights reserved.
CROON ELEKTROTECHNIEK, B.V.
A loud but warm greeting startled Fred Kombrink, a lead engineer from Croon Elektrotechniek’s Engineering Department. It came from Bart Van Asch, a senior account representative from Océ Technologies B.V. Along with a technical sales team from Océ, Bart had driven one hour by car from their offices in Den Bosch to Croon’s headquarters in Rotterdam to give a sales presentation for the Océ 950 Digital Reprographics System. “Let me introduce you to my team, “ Bart said enthusiastically as he gave a brief summary of the qualifications of each person. The team included a junior account representative, a field technical service representative, and a system engineer. As the group walked to a Croon conference room, Fred reflected on the events that led to the day’s meeting. The general manager of Croon Elektrotechniek’s Engineering Department had selected Fred as the lead engineer on a team and instructed them to select a new document reproduction system for Croon’s office in Rotterdam. Croon, an electrical engineering and construction firm used the system to duplicate technical documents including computer aided design (CAD) diagrams, building blueprints, and construction process specifications. The system also assembled complex “sets” comprised of numerous pages and varieties of odd sized drawings (e.g., blueprints), charts and graphs. Croon’s incumbent system, an inkjet printer, analog copier, and offline folder, had done an adequate job for the past five years. As the system aged and repair expenses continued to mount, the general manager decided that it was time to replace the system. Fred and his team had narrowed the choices down to three. First, Croon could replace the incumbent system with an updated inkjet printer, copier, and folder. Second, Croon could purchase newer technology in the form of the Xerox Engineering Services 8830 Digital Duplication System (XES 870 DDS). Third, Croon could acquire the same technology in the Océ 950. On July 5th, Geert Hoogervorst of Hoogervorst Printing Services, B.V. had given a presentation for the XES 870 DDS. Bart and the Océ team would have their chance today, July 9th.
With annual turnover approaching €200 million (euros) and total employees surpassing 1,500, Croon Elektrotechniek is one of the four largest electrical engineering, design, and construction firms in the Netherlands. For over 125 years, Croon has executed installation projects and maintenance contracts both at home and abroad. Croon serves companies, institutions, and governments in six major...