The manufacturing industry already has a great deal of experience when it comes to services. The provision of product-related services fits in with the traditional understanding of customer services, through which customer-specific manufacturing solutions have always been developed and then combined with a range of different services on the basis of dialogue between the supplier and the customer. To date, however, the economic potential of the integration of products and services to solve customers' problems has hardly ever been exploited in full.
Research carried out under the "Integration of production and services" research priority focuses on the development of integrated approaches ranging from the provision of technological support for services to cost-effective service offerings and staff qualification measures. This is not just about opening up new service areas, but also about identifying existing services as such, assessing them, and visibly increasing their cost-effectiveness by packaging and combining them with products.
The "Integration of production and services" research priority includes the following areas:
The aim is to help companies integrate production-related services into their innovation and value creation processes as an integral part of their corporate strategies. A great deal of information, knowledge and coordination is necessary to successfully integrate services in established business processes, thus rounding off product portfolios. This applies to interaction with the customers as well as to efforts within companies and in value creation networks. In order to incorporate services into established business processes in a cost-effective way, service offerings must fulfil the following criteria more effectively than in the past:
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