MIPd - Managing international partnerships digitally

The purpose of the project is to develop the digitally supported MIPd model for the management of international sales partnerships and thus contributes to the success of Swiss SMEs in their export business.


  • Lead school School of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Additional schools Business School
  • Institute Institute for Data Applications and Security (IDAS)
    Institute for Marketing & Global Management
  • Research unit IDAS / International Management
  • Funding organisation Innosuisse
  • Duration (planned) 01.11.2021 - 01.07.2023
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Paul Ammann
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Paul Ammann
  • Project staff Prof. Anna Knutti
  • Partner Fachhochschule Graub√ľnden


Many Swiss SMEs sell one hundred percent of their exports through distributors; these are companies in export markets that sell products from international manufacturers in their markets. The exporting SMEs are too small to establish their own sales offices. Collaboration with these sales partners is thus a key success factor in the export business. The Covid-19 pandemic prevented in-person meetings from taking place in the field, making it more difficult for Swiss exporters to work with their distribution partners. Distributors play a significant role in the international business of exporting SMEs, contributing a major portion of the foreign sales. However, working with them is challenging under normal circumstances and has been made even more difficult by the Covid-19 pandemic. The project demonstrates how the process of collaboration with sales partners can be optimised and supported by digital technologies.

Course of action

This project will develop a model for the digitally supported management of international distribution partnerships, comprising the management tasks of selection, qualification, motivation and evaluation of the sales partners. It will show how best to structure the processes for accomplishing these tasks and which digital technologies can support their implementation. In this way, the project will make a significant contribution to the future success of export-oriented companies.

This project contributes to the following SDGs

  • 8: Decent work and economic growth