Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Arlene Taich

Second Advisor

Clark C. Compton

Third Advisor

Michael A. Wood


The goal of this project is to determine what characteristics of the service firms are considered critical to success of vendors within the information movement and management industry.

The first task undertaken was to determine a definition for the information movement and management industry and which firms were major competitors within the industry . The size of the industry in terms of employees and revenues was then estimated. Some of the characteristics of the major competitors were then expanded.

The next activity involved the determination of what factors the information movement and management market members used to select a vendor of choice . The theories espoused by leading marketing theorists were first used to describe the general characteristics of service vendors . Next, recent articles and publications, along with the results of consultant surveys, were used to identify the characteristics of service vendors which are considered most important to members of this information movement and management market. Finally, discussions with a major member of this market, Anheuser- Busch Companies, were used to test the appropriateness of the factors previously determined to be important selection criteria.

Through this process of defining the industry and determining the selection criteria employed by members of this market, the marketing theories advanced in marketing textbooks were determined to be valid. The members of this market view the concept of a service as an intangible offering and therefore consider the selection process. evaluation of a service vendor to be a high risk They attempt to reduce the risk through an of the vendor's employees, buildings, tools and maintenance spare equipment. These tangible elements give the customer some sense of verification of the promises made by the vendor. Customers in this market consider a personal relationship with the vendor's employees to be an essential factor in determining the credibility of the vendor.

In essence, a competitor within the information movement and management industry must realize that customers view promises of service as risky and therefore are searching for some characteristics which will verify the duality of the service offering and

thus reduce the perceived risk. The qualities generally employed in the selection process are the people, equipment and other physical attributes of the vendor along with the depth of commitment exhibited through personal relationships with the vendor's employees.

Included in

Marketing Commons