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Towards integrated solutions: exploring the opportunities and implications for Alfa Laval in the wastewater industry
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Companies in the capital goods industry currently face challenges affecting their approach to and utilisation of their traditional business models for selling products, spare parts and support services. Hence these companies are turning towards new strategies involving combining products and services, and focusing on customer needs and actual outcomes of their products and services-in other words they are moving forward in the value chain towards providing integrated solutions.

This paper is an endeavour to contribute to the evolving discussion onintegrated solutions by linking this fairly new strategy to the value chain and value network perspectives. The paper presents an empirical case study ofAlfa Laval's business role in the wastewater industry, exploring the complexity and ambiguity of a company's shift towards providing integrated solutions, and highlights new competence-related requirements.

Alfa Laval has extended its range of products within the sludge treatment process; hence potential exists for further increasing knowledge about system integration. Furthermore, the company has increased its responsibility for operational services. Together with an increased focus on customers and new organisational solutions, these developments illustrate that Alfa Laval has changed its position in the value chain, and appears to be addressing the need for increasing its capabilities in relation to integration, markets, business and partnerships. It remains to be seen however, whether or not these developments will interact with one another, how they will be managed by the company, and whether or not they will be integrated by the company in its continuing move towards providing integrated solutions.

Keyword [en]
integrated solutions, services, solutions, value chain, value network
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-99927OAI: diva2:658902
Available from: 2013-10-23 Created: 2013-10-23 Last updated: 2013-10-23
In thesis
1. Towards integrated solutions: Alfa Laval and the wastewater industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards integrated solutions: Alfa Laval and the wastewater industry
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing companies in the capital goods industry face opportunities and challenges to their traditionally used business model for selling products, spare parts and services. They are encountering increasing pressure to provide their customers with broader, more tailored solutions. With these integrated solutions, as they are referred to in this thesis, companies are combining services with products to address their customers' business needs, and focus on the delivery of performance.

The objective of this thesis is to address this fairly new concept of integrated solutions using Alfa Laval as a study case in a wastewater industry setting. The business and organisational implications of the move towards integrated solutions have been explored and the move characterised in the context of innovation literature. The thesis comprises five supporting chapters and four empirical papers. The first of these four papers explores and identifies incentives and new competence requirements for providing integrated solutions. The second paper highlights the influence that external elements such as changes in market structure have on providing integrated solutions. The third paper explores internal processes at Alfa Laval supporting a move towards integrated solutions. The fourth and final paper describes the development and launch of a self-optimising control system for the dewatering process, which is licensed out to customers, hence challenging Alfa Laval's traditional way of doing business.

The thesis links Alfa Laval's move towards integrated solutions with its capabilities in the areas of system integration, operational services, partnering and organisational competence, and its approach to customers. It also shows that Alfa Laval's move towards integrated solutions encompasses products, services, performance and organisational innovations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2004. 59 p.
Dissertations from the International Graduate School of Management and Industrial Engineering, ISSN 1402-0793 ; 81Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 40
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22207 (URN)LiU-Tek-Lic-2004:40 (ISRN)1364 (Local ID)91-85295-23-X (ISBN)1364 (Archive number)1364 (OAI)
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-10-23

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