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Abstract

In this chapter our objective is twofold. First we try to present a comprehensive vision of the evolutionary role of the purchasing function in regard of the Offer Creation Process (OCP) of firms. We present 3 alternative organizational solutions enabling to effectively connect the purchasing actors to the OCP. Thereby, among the new roles emerging for the purchasing function, one is particularly specific to situations where top management is expecting a real contribution in innovation process: the role of Innovation scouting. Therefore the second objective of the paper is a conceptual contribution in order to shape what should be the specific content of scouting innovation from external resources. Our presentation takes into account two contingency factors: the degree of innovation maturity and the status of the target partners in the supply base (existing or new). As a synthesis we propose a framework for choosing suitable organizing model for purchasing functions urged to increase their contribution to the OCP.

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... Ready-to-market technologies are of particular interest as many uncertainties and problems related to the use of mature technologies have already been resolved by others. They are, hence, easier to apply without extensive domain knowledge (Calvi et al., 2020). ...
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The authors address the need for supply relationships to generate, support, and respond to discontinuous innovation (DI), noting that established ways of working appear insufficient. The peculiarities of DI are explained and contrasted with well-known concepts within innovation. The need for customer firms to be both closely collaborative with suppliers while also exploring potential, unpredictable DI elsewhere is proposed, by means of strategic dalliances. A model is presented for understanding and exploring this emerging management challenge.
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Interest in early supplier integration in new product development (NPD) has increased as an open innovation approach has become more common in firms. To support supplier integration, the purchasing function of a firm can assume a new ‘dual’ role: contributing to NPD while also managing overall costs. Previous research has offered few insights into how the purchasing function should best be organised so that it will fulfil this dual role. This paper reports on the results of a consortial benchmarking study in which an industry–academic consortium visited and analysed six best-practice firms. The findings describe how innovative firms organise their purchasing function, distinguishing between ‘advanced sourcing’ and ‘life-cycle sourcing’ units. The results include the tools that these firms use, such as regular innovation meetings with suppliers and technology roadmaps linking firm strategy, innovation strategy and sourcing strategies. The paper also recommends that researchers shift from a narrow focus on a single project to a broader consideration of supplier and organisational issues in NPD.
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Innovation intermediaries are increasingly being used in practice, but there is little concrete theoretical guidance on when and how they add value to client's new product development (NPD) processes. This paper develops propositions on innovation intermediaries value-added based on a detailed case study of an innovation intermediary's relations to three major clients in the European apparel fashion industry. We identify key contingencies to an innovation intermediary's value added (e.g. NDP speed and complexity of involvement). We also suggest a framework that specifies when a combination of four types of specific intermediary capabilities (best-cost capabilities, timing-capabilities, market-response capabilities, and product solution capabilities) increases value added in clients' NDP processes.