Improving Product - Service Development Processes in Traditional Manufacturing Firms : A Case Study of a Swedish Manufacturing Firm

University essay from KTH/Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)

Abstract: Manufacturing companies have begun developing Product Service Systems to provide customers with enhanced product-service offerings. Transitioning to a service-oriented development process allows companies to restructure risks, responsibilities, and costs normally associated with owning products. They potentially allow companies to sell products through different channels and offer additional elements of differentiation to their competitors. However, PSS comes with a lot of challenges that manufacturing companies have struggled to overcome. Some of these challenges include switching away from traditional hardware-focused mindset and the service manufacturing paradox. This thesis focused on challenges regarding integrating services within product development processes. A Swedish manufacturing company was considered as the primary case study for investigation. 14 people from different functions were interviewed. The investigation revealed 17 challenges categorized into five main themes. These themes were lack of clear company messaging regarding services, immature service development process, sub-optimal division of tasks and responsibilities, resources issues, and lack of integration in processes. Additionally, three external companies were interviewed to investigate their service maturity level and how they were able to overcome common challenges in service integration. Based on the insights gained from both internal and external interviews three solutions were created. These solutions are new roles and updated responsibilities, a new integrated service process, and a Product-Service Readiness Level chart. Future considerations for the investigated company were also submitted to provide a guide for further development of these solutions.

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