The role of digitalized product information in maintenance services of complex products or systems
Abstract: Manufacturers dealing with complex products or systems are widely dependent on new technologies which can be utilized to create new business models. Servitization literature express an increased demand for advanced service offerings for manufacturers where revenues are generated by the performance and availability of their product. This stream of literature agree that maintenance organisations hold an important part of capturing the advantages of advanced servitization business models but that manufacturers often struggle with the deployment of digital technologies. Furthermore, studies within servitization imply that digital implementations and information management create value for manufactures, but a gap exists regarding how value is created. This study therefore explores and furthermore identifies the role of digitalized product information in maintenance services and how it creates value. The aim is to contribute with new insights regarding the realisation of advanced services within the service operations area. The research design is a multiple embedded case study including 10 interviews and a cost analysis. Technicians and maintenance managers are interviewed within companies who are i) manufacturers of complex products or systems and ii) have their own maintenance organisation. Two themes, “Convenience” and “Sustainability” were derived from the interviews to describe how value is created by the usage of DPI. Value is created by simplified processes, optimized time management, reduced consumption, optimized life-expectancy etc. through the usage of DPI in maintenance services of complex products or systems. Economic value in terms of cost reductions, sales optimizations and economic stability could be identified as holistic value created for the organizations, enabled by the two main themes. The results of the study indicate overlapping similarities with the existing literatures and address important aspects of how to realise the benefits of advanced services for manufacturers and what digital capabilities related to maintenance that can be utilized to successfully implement such services.
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