Study and analysis of service delivery strategy for industrial systems
Abstract: As industrial products become more advanced and complex, the role of product support in performance optimisation becomes a critical issue for manufacturers and customers. Manufacturers often sell products with different forms and levels of product support. Included within this range of product support services are activities such as direct product support and more indirect customer support (e.g. training). Research studies have demonstrated that customer dissatisfaction is not so much a problem of gaps between required services and delivered services as much as it is a gap between required services and delivery of those services in a manner that most precisely supports customer activities. To achieve a level of customer satisfaction that leads to a win-win situation for both parties, service providers (original equipment manufacturers or independent service providers) must develop and then follow-through with an effective service delivery strategy. The focus of the work reported on in this thesis is the investigation of engineering factors/parameters that normally influence the development of service delivery strategies that encompass reliability, maintainability and so on. To achieve an competitive and effective service delivery strategy it is necessary to also analyse/consider such non-engineering factors as geographical location, customer maintenance strategies, operational requirements, operating environments, manufacturers/service provider own capability. Emphasized is that the key to a successful service delivery strategy lies in understanding individual customer requirements and needs. Through this philosophy, service delivery is then dimensioned based on actual requirements and needs. A comprehensive service delivery strategy must go beyond a focus on product or operating characteristics to include a "Total Care Solution Approach" which aims at delivering services that fully support customers' activity. In the research reported a framework for the development of a service delivery strategy that considers product characteristics and other influencing factors is presented. Additionally, the role of negotiation in delivering optimum service delivery is analysed through a study of existing practices within manufacturing and service companies in Sweden and Norway.
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