On the use of platforms for product–service solutions
Doctoral thesis, 2020
Drawing from research on product–service solutions and on platform and modular approaches, the thesis seeks to answer three research questions addressing: (1) arguments in favour of using platforms for product–service solutions, (2) how a platform approach influence key aspects of the solutions development, and (3) how a platform approach influence key aspects of the organisational structure. To answer those questions, the research for the thesis adopted a case-study approach. Following a pre-study on Alpha and Beta—an access solutions provider and a healthcare ICT solutions provider, respectively—the lion’s share of data concerns the firm Gamma, operating in the transportation industry. Within the scope of that company, two solutions development projects—the ECOS and COBO projects—were also studied in-depth.
As revealed in the case studies, the use of platforms for product–service solutions is influenced by the objectives of the solution business, the solution itself and the organisational architecture, as well as variation in customers’ needs. Further, the thesis outlines three development-focused efforts undertaken in providing product–service solutions based on a platform approach: (1) developing and utilising standardised assets (i.e. a platform), (2) the customising efforts concerned with the configuration of solutions, and (3) personalising activities referring to adaption of the delivery of solutions. Leveraging usage and technology knowledge as shared assets, the thesis identifies two approaches to developing a platform: establishing the platform first or taking a point of departure within an individual solution.
Despite arguments in favour of using a platform approach for product–service solutions, implementing such an approach typically presents obstacles. Challenges are likely to arise in an organisation due to the misalignment of the solution architecture with the organisational architecture. After all, the solution architecture encompasses products and services that are inseparable from the development phase forward. However, if products and services are separated organisationally, then the organisational architecture can direct product and service development into different structures, which can cause major challenges in managing the integration needed to provide a seamless solution.
Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Innovation and R&D Management, Innovation and R&D Management
Using Platform Strategies in the Development of Integrated Product-Service Solutions
International Journal of Innovation Management,; Vol. 23(2019)
Solutions in business networks: Implications of an interorganizational perspective
Journal of Business Research,; Vol. 104(2019)p. 411-421
Managerial attention alteration in integrated product-service development
International Journal of Technology Management,; Vol. 80(2019)p. 36-60
The virtue of customising solutions: A managerial framework
Practices and Tools for Servitization: Managing Service Transition,; (2018)p. 291-308
Describing different integrated solutions
International Journal of Technology Management,; Vol. 78(2018)p. 343-361
The thesis not only proposes several arguments in favour of using platforms for product–service solutions but also identifies how a platform approach influences key aspects of solutions development and organisational structure. Along with the objectives of the solution business and the nature of customers’ needs, the integration of products and services warrants attention. The thesis suggests that providing product–service solutions by using a platform approach occurs in three steps: establishing the platform, customising the solution, and personalising the solution. In such efforts, challenges will likely arise if the required integration of products and services is misaligned with the organisational structure in which such integration is to occur.
Increased innovation capability through efficient development of integrated solutions
VINNOVA, 2017-09-01 -- 2019-08-31.
Other Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Advance
Innovation and entrepreneurship
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4785
Chalmers University of Technology
Opponent: Prof. Johan Frishammar, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology