Developing A Service Quality Scale From Distributor Perspective Working With Small & Medium Manufacturing Enterprises

Surjit Kumar Gandhi, Anish Sachdeva, Ajay Gupta


Purpose – The purpose of the current study is to identify the attributes of service quality offered by smallmedium manufacturing enterprises to the distributors engaged with their units. A service quality scale to improve distributors’ working and enhance their performance is proposed in this context.

Design/methodology/approach– 101 distributors or their representatives engaged in working with smallmedium manufacturing units of north India responded to a questionnaire survey. The respondents were asked to assess service quality offered by the manufacturing units to the distributor on 1 to 5 perception scale. Construct validation using exploratory factor analysis showed an interpretable latent structure consisting of 5 dimensions. Confirmatory factor analysis developed a valid and reliable service quality measurement scale with 4 dimensions and 12 items.

Findings – It was observed that service quality of manufacturing units’ working towards distributors comprises four dimensions viz., Trust, Ease-of-Doing-Business (EODB), Promptness-Courtesy, and Credibility.

Research limitations / implications – Snowball sampling was undertaken for this research. The study contributes to developing a valid and reliable measurement scale depicting the manufacturing units’ working towards their distributors in a relatively less-explored sector.

Practical implications – The scale developed in this research can be used by managers of small-medium manufacturing units in identification of opportunities for providing service excellence to distributors to facilitate their working and improve performance, thereby mutually benefitting both partners as well as
the whole supply chain.

Originality/value - This research provides a framework to researchers to build up more service quality scales in similar situations so that more concrete generalizations can be made.


Distributors, SMEs, Internal Service quality, measurement scale, small-medium manufacturing units; Factor Analysis, CFA; Reliability, Validity

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