Servitization and Modularization as Enabler for Sustainability
Paper in proceedings, 2020
Many manufacturers are innovating their business models by proactively integrating services to their physical products as a competitive strategy, known as servitization. This new life cycle view of product and service management would also require the manufacturer to consider how it can contribute to improved sustainability. This paper will present some findings from our on-going, and planned, research. A research that aims to take a deeper understanding on how product modularity can contribute to improve sustainability by extending the life cycle of the products. Empirical data has been collected from one large automotive company and is planned to be collected from a number of additional B2B (business-to-business) companies. All of them being traditionally product focused companies moving towards a service-oriented business model. The preliminary results indicate that a more modular product structure can contribute to increased sustainability. But, to achieve this there are important aspects to take into consideration during the product development process, such as for example the need for a more extended life-cycle view of the product and its use. There are also trade-offs because different organizational functions favour different ways of managing product modularity that call for management involvement to make decisions on which solutions to prioritize.