The evolution of product support - The service as a product
A professional approach towards services is increasingly developing into a crucial competitive factor. Not only traditional service providers, but also companies for whom in the past services have only represented a small portion of total business, are nowadays required to satisfy ever more complex needs and indeed to offer a whole series of new services to their customers. In particular, many companies are now awakening to the opportunities not merely for safeguarding and expanding their own competitive position with the aid of innovative services, but also for acquiring entirely new business segments. At the same time, they are confronted with the problem of not being able to avail themselves of the systematic methods and tools that are essential above all to develop complex, professional services. Many new services are still frequently no more than the ad hoc outcome of individual projects. In particular, many manufacturing companies lack of the necessary prerequisites for designing new services systematically and positioning them successfully on the market. Therefore, the contribution presents an integrated approach for the development of services considering technical, organisational and human aspects.