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Managing the Industrial Service Function
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4081-9737
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

During the past decade, growing attention has been given to industrial service offerings in the marketing literature as well as in many manufacturing firms. This phenomenon is often described as a goods-services transition, in which companies increasingly turn to the provision of industrial services in order to achieve competitive advantage, such a closer customer relationships and higher profit margins. Industrial services span a wide range of offerings, from basic after-sales services to process-orientated solutions consisting of both services and capital goods. With industrial service offerings receiving increased attention as their importance is understood, the ability to manage the service business in a manufacturing context becomes ever more vital.

The overall purpose of this doctoral thesis is to describe and analyse how capital equipment manufacturing firms strategically manage their industrial service offerings in order to achieve long-term competitive advantage. This includes analysing how to organise the firm for the development and production of service, and, depending on the type of industrial service offering, what the requirements on the service processes are. Furthermore the role of information and communication technologies as enablers for new offerings and processes is analysed. The thesis consists of a compilation of five papers, two case descriptions and an extended summary. The research builds on a multiple case study of the service organisations of market-leading manufacturing firms. The main cases are based on in-depth studies at ITT Water & Wastewater and Toyota Material Handling Group.

The results suggest that, as the division between goods and services becomes ever more blurred, there is an increasing need for cooperation between the service and the product organisations. Applying a service logic means that the traditional division between goods sales and after-sales services becomes outdated. Instead, the customer relationship becomes the centre of the offering regardless of its combination of services and goods. Further, the infusion of service in manufacturing firms means that more service processes and interfaces have to be managed simultaneously.

Theoretically, this research contributes mainly to the fields of industrial marketing and service as a business logic. One contribution is the proposed typologies for industrial service offerings which make it possible to better understand the dynamics of service processes. Another important contribution of this research is the service function concept. Industrial services must not be equated with the activities of the industrial service organisation only. Although the service organisation most likely is the key entity, it is only one subset of the service function; sales product development, manufacturing, senior management, and other organisational entities, as well as external service providers and customers, are to be seen as part-time service functions that influence the offering. Compared to previously, competitive advantage through industrial service offerings is to a greater extent based on factors outside the service organisation, i.e. in other parts of the service function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 64 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1198Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 117
Keyword [en]
Industrial service offerings, service function, manufacturing firms, ICT, customer relationships, value
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12463ISBN: 978-91-7393-846-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-12463DiVA: diva2:162
Public defence
2008-08-29, ACAS, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-09-09 Created: 2008-09-05 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Service productivity gains through information and communication technology applications: A service marketing approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Service productivity gains through information and communication technology applications: A service marketing approach
2008 (English)In: International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, ISSN 1743-8268, E-ISSN 1743-8276, Vol. 2, no 1, 96-114 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Based on examples from Information and Communication Technology- (ICT-) based improvements in service productivity in the service organisations of three manufacturing firms, this paper argues for a service-centred approach towards productivity. When improving the productivity of industrial services, one of the three profitability-generating strategies, cost-efficiency, revenue effectiveness and capacity utilisation – or a combination – can be used. Increased standardisation and automation is a consequence of technological development, making capacity less a constraint in services and even if ICT applications often primarily improve cost efficiency, the elements improved vary depending on the solution implemented. Thus, ICT can enhance existing service processes and enable new service offerings to increase overall profitability. A productivity model for ICT-based services is presented and it is suggested that central coordination is often required in order to develop ICT-based services.

Keyword
service productivity, information and communication technology, ICT, service offerings, cost efficiency, revenue effectiveness, capacity utilisation, front office, back office
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12458 (URN)10.1504/IJKMS.2008.016440 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Christian Kowalkowski, Service productivity gains through information and communication technology applications: A service marketing approach, 2008, International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, (2), 1, 96-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJKMS.2008.016440 Copyright: Inderscience Publishers http://www.inderscience.com/index.php Available from: 2008-09-05 Created: 2008-09-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. Technology as a driver for changing customer-provider interfaces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Technology as a driver for changing customer-provider interfaces
2008 (English)In: Management research news, ISSN 0140-9174, Vol. 31, no 10, 746-757 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this paper is to explore how information and communication technology (ICT) is affecting and driving changes in the service processes and customer interfaces of capital goods manufacturers.  

Keyword
Communication technologies, service industries, customer relations
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-43118 (URN)10.1108/01409170810908507 (DOI)71864 (Local ID)71864 (Archive number)71864 (OAI)
Note
Original Publication: Christian Kowalkowski and Per-Olof Brehmer, Technology as a driver for changing customer-provider interfaces, 2008, Management research news, (31), 10, 746-757. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/01409170810908507 Copyright: Emerald Group Publishing Limited http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ Available from: 2009-10-10 Created: 2009-10-10 Last updated: 2014-04-14
3. Managing industrial service offerings: requirements on content and processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing industrial service offerings: requirements on content and processes
2009 (English)In: International Journal of Services Technology and Management, ISSN 1460-6720, E-ISSN 1741-525X, Vol. 11, no 1, 42-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper develops a typology for industrial service offerings, inter-relating service scope (degree of bundling), service focus (level of customer integration), and service process interfaces. Different forms of industrial services and the impact of information and communication technology on the three service dimensions are discussed, and requirements are identified related to the expansion of services. It is suggested that bundled and process-orientated services hold a major potential for manufacturing companies and can facilitate the creation of competitive advantage and long-term relationships with customers. Increased knowledge of the customers’ installed base and business processes enables better customisation of the service offerings. Even if more emphasis is put on standardising and formalising central and local processes, companies need to recognise local differences among subsidiaries.

Keyword
Industrial service offerings, manufacturing companies, service scope, service focus, service process interfaces, bundling, customer integration, services management
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12460 (URN)10.1504/IJSTM.2009.022381 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Christian Kowalkowski, Per-Olof Brehmer and Daniel Kindström, Managing industrial service offerings: requirements on content and processes, 2009, International Journal of Services Technology and Management, (11), 1, 42-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJSTM.2009.022381 Copyright: Inderscience Enterprises Ltd http://www.inderscience.com/ Available from: 2008-09-05 Created: 2008-09-05 Last updated: 2017-12-14
4. Managing industrial service offerings in global business markets
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing industrial service offerings in global business markets
2011 (English)In: Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, Vol. 26, no 3, 181-192 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – Despite the increased focus on industrial services in manufacturing companies, little research to date has focused on understanding the roles of local and central organizations in global service management. In order to address this research gap, the paper investigates how industrial service offerings are developed and managed in multinational manufacturing companies.

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative case study with respondents from two internationally leading manufacturers was conducted. Eight industrial service offerings with different characteristics serve as units of analysis.

Findings – A broad portfolio of industrial service offerings implies having a very wide range of skill sets, including both global efficiency and local responsiveness. With specialized and extensive offerings, it becomes more important to have a high level of central-local and product-service integration and to internalize service provision. Furthermore, with global customers, the central service organization needs to assume a more prominent role, initiating both an organizational exploitation of current service capabilities and the exploration of new ones.

Research limitations/implications – The main focus was on service offerings performed by high-volume manufacturing companies operating primarily in developed markets.

Originality/value – Previous studies of industrial service management in manufacturing companies have not explicitly considered the roles of central and local organizations. Thus, the authors were able to complement the existing theory. The paper promotes a deeper understanding of the complexity of managing service offerings on a global basis.

Keyword
Industrial service offerings, Multinational companies, International business, Service systems
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12461 (URN)10.1108/08858621111115903 (DOI)000290647000005 ()
Note
Original Publication: Christian Kowalkowski, Daniel Kindström and Per-Olof Brehmer, Managing industrial service offerings in global business markets, 2011, Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, (26), 3, 181-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/08858621111115903 Copyright: Emerald Group Publishing Limited http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ Available from: 2008-09-05 Created: 2008-09-05 Last updated: 2014-04-14
5. How World Leading Manufacturers Can Achieve Differentiation Through E-Business: New Services, Enhanced Relationships, and Reduced Costs
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How World Leading Manufacturers Can Achieve Differentiation Through E-Business: New Services, Enhanced Relationships, and Reduced Costs
2007 (English)In: 18th Information Resources Management Association International Conference, Vancouver, Canada: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology, Hershey, New York: IGI Global , 2007, 502-506 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

E-business development is today driven by mature and established companies and is becoming an important tool to increase competitive advantage and to sustain profitability. This paper investigates how world-leading manufacturers can achieve differentiation through their use of e-business. Many companies use e-business as vehicles to launch new information-based service, as an important enabler to enhance and deepen customer relationships, and to reduce costs associated with customer management. Using e-business in this way will increase the opportunities for differentiation and create sustainable competitive advantage. Successful employment of e-business creates services that retain current customers and attract new ones as well as justifies premium prices and keeps low-cost competitors in check.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hershey, New York: IGI Global, 2007
Keyword
E-business, Differentiation, Value creation, Offerings, Services
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-12462 (URN)978-1-59904-929-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2008-09-05 Created: 2008-09-05 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved

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