Increasingly, manufacturing firms are providing services (e.g., product design, maintenance and monitoring of equipment) as a way to differentiate themselves and increase profitability. SLab studies models to organise and manage service-related activities in manufacturing firms.
Examples of questions that can be addressed through projects in this area:
- It is possible or desirable to shift from selling products to selling solutions? (e.g., selling “availability of equipment” rather than selling equipment)
- How to develop a business model based on hybrid product and service offerings? Or based on the operational performance of equipment?
- Which services may be offered and how can they contribute to profitability?
- How to design and change the firm’s organisational structure in order to support service delivery?
Examples of projects that were conducted or are being conducted by SLab:
- SLab is a partner in the International Manufacturing Strategy Survey Study, a study of manufacturing strategies adopted by firms at a global level (http://www.manufacturingstrategy.net/). More than 600 cutting-edge firms from such countries as the United States, Japan, China, Germany, France, Spain, England and Brazil amongst many others in Europe, America, Asia and Oceania take part in this project. This collaborative project relies on a network of researchers from more than 30 of the most prestigious Business Schools in the world. In the context of this project, SLab studies how servitization strategies are being adopted globally and how they impact the performance of manufacturing firms.
- SLab conducted a study about the implementation of servitization strategies in the Portuguese metalworking industries. This project was carried out in partnership with AIMMAP (Association of Metallurgical, Metal-Mechanic and other related industries of Portugal) and it involved the organization of workshops, the administration of a survey and the writing of an e-Book. The e-Book entitled “The Servitization of Industry – How to Compete through Services” is a useful tool for understanding how to implement servitization strategies in practice and is available here. [in Portuguese]