Enhancing the Industrial Service Offering New Requirements on Content and Processes

University dissertation from Ekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: The overall purpose of this thesis is to describe and analyse how capital goods manufacturers can enhance their industrial service offering.The theoretical basis of this research is found in services marketing, recognising co-creation of value, that the service process is an open production system and that the customer determines value as the manufacturer can only offer value propositions.The empirical basis is a multiple case study of service management at BT Industries, Electrolux Laundry Systems, ITT Flygt, and Saab. The four companies operate within different industries, have different service offerings and they are facing different internal and external conditions, which affect their service organisation and offering.It is becoming increasingly important for capital goods manufacturers to offer services and there are further growth and profit opportunities on the market for industrial services. It is suggested that there is major improvement potential and financial gains possible to achieve if more resources are allocated to services. Moreover, utilisation of new technological means leads to increased dematerialisation and enable manufacturers to enhance existing service offerings as well as enable new ones.Depending on whether the services have a traditional product-orientated focus or a customer-centric process-orientated focus, and depending on the scope of the offering, there are different critical factors to consider. Process-orientated services require knowledge about not only how to service the installed base but also how to improve the customer’s industrial production process.Generally, bundled services require a modular structure with standardised, formalised processes and integration between local and central organisation. Extensive bundled offerings require that both customer and provider have relational intent and a long-term relationship is regarded as a condition for successful customer involvement in service development. Long-term relationships also enable the company to act proactive and develop offerings with a customer-centric approach, instead of having a product-centric approach and internally-focused innovation.To conclude, operational service processes and interfaces, internal and with the customer, are critical to manage both from a cost-efficiency and revenue-effectiveness perspective. Furthermore, it is argued that customer relationships and development of the service offering must be managed strategically.