A call center is a division that specializes in dealing with customers. Early studies on call centers regarded them as strategically important areas that, despite some negative aspects, were acknowledged to possess a certain level of expertise and to have a high degree of autonomy as interfaces for customers. However, this view gradually changed, with call centers coming to be seen as workplaces typified by harsh working conditions and isolated from the other divisions of the company. Therefore, research in recent years has entirely focused on these negative aspects, while ignoring the positive aspects.
Prior research on customized component transactions asserts that from a manufacturer’s perspective, customization costs can be reduced by creating collaborative relationships. However, there are few researches on the supplier’s perspective. In this paper, a survey of Japanese suppliers revealed that (a) supplier performance improves when there are more proposals both from and to customers, and that (b) supplier performance deteriorates when proposals only come from the customer. In other words, in case of the top-down relationship in (b), supplier performance deteriorates, but in the bidirectional relationship in (a), supplier performance improves.
In existing research on new product development, it has been believed that the product development by companies needs to reflect the changes in customer needs. Particularly, for products in which continual development is a characteristic, customer needs must be addressed at multiple points in time. However, by comparing the cases of two companies from the online game industry, we found that long-term performance of a company which responded flexibly suffered a drop, with the ratio of new users dropping and the user attrition rate increasing. Therefore, we believed that too much attention was paid to the requests of lead users.
The word “Galapagos” has garnered attention in Japan as an explanation for the loss of global competitiveness by the Japanese economy and Japanese companies, even while the Japanese companies are competitive domestically. The term has particularly been used with mobile phones in Japan, which are known as “Galapagos ke-tai.” An analysis of newspaper articles showed that discussions on Galapagos mobile phones were primarily about technology, technology standards, and features. However, smartphones that looked like Galapagos ke-tai came to be called “Garaho” later, and the term Galapagos then took on the meaning of appearance.