Servitization of the manufacturing firm: exploring the operations practices and technologies that deliver advanced services

Tim Baines, Howard W. Lightfoot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to explore practices and technologies successfully servitised manufacturers employ in the delivery of advanced services. Design/methodology/approach: A case study methodology is applied across four manufacturing organisations successful in servitization. Through interviews with personnel across host manufacturers, their partners, and key customers, extensive data are collected about service delivery systems. Analyses identify convergence in their practices and technologies. Findings: Six distinct technologies and practices are revealed: facilities and their location, micro-vertical integration and supplier relationships, information and communication technologies (ICTs), performance measurement and value demonstration, people deployment and their skills, and business processes and customer relationships. These are then combined in an integrative framework that illustrates how operations are configured to successfully deliver advanced services. Research limitations/implications: The analyses are reductive and rationalising. Future studies could identify other technologies and practices. Case study as a method is inherently limited in the extent to which findings can be generalised. Practical implications: Awareness and interest in servitization is growing, yet adoption of a servitization strategy requires particular organisational capabilities on the part of the manufacturer. This study identifies technologies and practices that underpin these capabilities. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the understanding of the servitization process and, in particular, the implications to broader operations of the firm.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-35
Number of pages34
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Manufacturing firms
Service economy
Demonstrations
Personnel
Communication
Industry
Organizational capabilities
Methodology
Business process
Service delivery systems
Information and communication technology
Customer relationship
Design methodology
Supplier relationships
Vertical integration
Performance measurement
Manufacturing organizations

Bibliographical note

This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=17102265. Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • case study
  • operations
  • product-service systems
  • service delivery systems
  • servitization

Cite this

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abstract = "Purpose: This paper aims to explore practices and technologies successfully servitised manufacturers employ in the delivery of advanced services. Design/methodology/approach: A case study methodology is applied across four manufacturing organisations successful in servitization. Through interviews with personnel across host manufacturers, their partners, and key customers, extensive data are collected about service delivery systems. Analyses identify convergence in their practices and technologies. Findings: Six distinct technologies and practices are revealed: facilities and their location, micro-vertical integration and supplier relationships, information and communication technologies (ICTs), performance measurement and value demonstration, people deployment and their skills, and business processes and customer relationships. These are then combined in an integrative framework that illustrates how operations are configured to successfully deliver advanced services. Research limitations/implications: The analyses are reductive and rationalising. Future studies could identify other technologies and practices. Case study as a method is inherently limited in the extent to which findings can be generalised. Practical implications: Awareness and interest in servitization is growing, yet adoption of a servitization strategy requires particular organisational capabilities on the part of the manufacturer. This study identifies technologies and practices that underpin these capabilities. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the understanding of the servitization process and, in particular, the implications to broader operations of the firm.",
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