On the use of platforms for product–service solutions
Doktorsavhandling, 2020

The purpose of this thesis is to identify and describe factors influencing the use of platforms for product–service solutions. Briefly put, product–service solutions are combinations of products and services integrated and customised to address customers’ overall needs. However, because customisation can be costly and time-consuming, following a platform approach can enable companies to meet customers’ individual needs while taking advantage of economies of scale effects at the same time. Compiling five papers, this thesis proposes factors that are influencing the development and applicability of such a platform approach.

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.

product–service solutions

customisation

platforms

servitization

architecture

solutions development

Digital
Opponent: Prof. Johan Frishammar, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology

Författare

Siri Jagstedt

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, 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)

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Solutions in business networks: Implications of an interorganizational perspective

Journal of Business Research,; Vol. 104(2019)p. 411-421

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Managerial attention alteration in integrated product-service development

International Journal of Technology Management,; Vol. 80(2019)p. 36-60

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

The virtue of customising solutions: A managerial framework

Practices and Tools for Servitization: Managing Service Transition,; (2018)p. 291-308

Kapitel i bok

Describing different integrated solutions

International Journal of Technology Management,; Vol. 78(2018)p. 343-361

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

This thesis seeks to identify and describe factors influencing the use of platforms for product–service solutions—that is, combinations of products and services seamlessly integrated and customised to meet the varying needs of different customers. To mitigate the typically costly, time-consuming customisation of these product–service solutions, companies can implement a platform approach to leverage shared assets among solutions, thereby creating opportunities to address individual customers’ needs while benefiting from economies of scale.

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.

Ökad innovationsförmåga genom effektiv utveckling av integrerade lösningar

VINNOVA, 2017-09-01 -- 2019-08-31.

Ämneskategorier

Annan maskinteknik

Styrkeområden

Produktion

Drivkrafter

Innovation och entreprenörskap

ISBN

978-91-7905-318-5

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4785

Utgivare

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Digital

Online

Opponent: Prof. Johan Frishammar, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2020-05-25