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The relevance of service in European manufacturing industries

: Lay, G.; Copani, G.; Jäger, A.; Biege, S.


Journal of service management 21 (2010), Nr.5, S.715-726
ISSN: 1757-5818
Fraunhofer ISI ()
Europe; customer service management; manufacturing industry; quantitative method; management strategy

Purpose - Case study findings increasingly indicate that the implementation of service-based business concepts is becoming a global business trend. The purpose of this paper is to analyze a broad European survey to understand the extent to which service infusion has already deeply affected manufacturing industries and the factors influencing service infusion.
Design/methodology/approach - Data from 3,376 companies participating in the European Manufacturing Survey were included in an evaluation of service offerings and service sales. Multivariate data analyzes were used to develop statistically relevant conclusions regarding service infusion and the factors influencing it.
Findings - Whereas, the vast majority of companies surveyed offer services, the turnover generated by services was still low, and the adopted service strategies did not seem fully developed. The most significant determinant of service sales was the breadth of services offered. Other relevant explanatory factors included the characteristics of the type of products sold, whereas the position in the supply chain did not seem to affect service infusion.
Research limitations/implications - Using large-scale survey data, this analysis provides a representative picture of service infusion in manufacturing industries and related causal relationships. Further qualitative research should develop interpretations of the relationships found in our quantitative analysis; as such, subsequent quantitative analyzes are necessary.
Originality/value - As most previous studies on service infusion are based on case study reports, the value of this paper comes from its use of a broad empirical database. Thus, the paper supports, confirms, and generalizes previous qualitative findings.