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Annals of Business Administrative Science
Vol. 15 (2016) No. 2 p. 59-73



This paper is a case study of a professional organization for offering customer solutions (POOCS) at Company A, a global materials supplier. Positioned in the upstream supply chains, Company A has the ability to handle materials, and most of its direct customers are second- and third-tier companies in the supply chain. Company A had difficulty understanding the general direction of the supplier system and industry trends for the very same reasons. However, by creating a POOCS, engineers at Company A were able to understand external information of Chain Captains and Trend Settlers and propose solutions without being distracted by semantic noise. In other words, the POOCS functioned much like the gatekeepers described by Allen (1977), who did not find any relationship between the existence of a gatekeeper and performance; however, in the case of Company A, performance clearly improved with the creation of the POOCS to act as a gatekeeper.

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