Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1993 (Revised April 1995)

IBM After-Sales Service

by Janice H. Hammond


IBM has established a service delivery system to provide service and maintenance parts for its installed base of computers. The case outlines the competitive pressures IBM faces from alternative providers of maintenance services (e.g. other OEMs, third-party maintainers, and independent retailers) and describes the shifting service requirements of computer users. Describes a variety of programs that IBM has undertaken to improve its after-sales service operations, and proposes a variety of alternatives that IBM is considering implementing. Illustrates the value of communication and coordination between different functions within IBM (e.g., between maintenance, manufacturing, distribution, and marketing) to allow services to be provided in a competitive manner and to provide appropriate feedback from the field.

Keywords: Service Delivery; Service Operations; Supply Chain; Supply Chain Management; Logistics; Operations; Distribution; Customer Focus and Relationships; Competitive Strategy; Computer Industry;


Hammond, Janice H. "IBM After-Sales Service." Harvard Business School Case 693-001, March 1993. (Revised April 1995.)