The Impact of Contract Type on Service Provider Information Requirements

The Impact of Contract Type on Service Provider Information Requirements

Rachel Cuthbert (Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University, UK), Duncan McFarlane (Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University, UK) and Andy Neely (Institute for Manufacturing, Cambridge University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/jssmet.2012070105
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This paper is concerned with the role of information in the servitization of manufacturing which has led to “the innovation of an organisation’s capabilities and processes as equipment manufacturers seek to offer services around their products” (Neely, 2009; Baines et al., 2009). This evolution has resulted in an information requirement (IR) shift as companies move from discrete provision of equipment and spare parts to long-term service contracts guaranteeing prescribed performance levels. Organisations providing such services depend on a very high level of availability and quality of information throughout the service life-cycle (Menor et al., 2002). This work focuses on whether, for a proposed contract based around complex equipment, the Information System is capable of providing information at an acceptable quality and requires the IRs to be examined in a formal manner. The authors apply a service information framework (Cuthbert et al., 2008; McFarlane & Cuthbert, 2012) to methodically assess IRs for different contract types to understand the information gap between them. Results from case examples indicate that this gap includes information required for the different contract types and a set of contract-specific IRs. Furthermore, the control, ownership and use of information differs across contract types as the boundary of operation and responsibility changes.
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2. Background

The background provides an overview of the changes which have taken place within manufacturing, where such organisations have tended to servitize. This is described in the particular context of complex engineering assets. Associated issues of increased longevity of the customer-provider relationship, the accompanying contracts and the associated information risks are highlighted. The different contracting models employed within a complex engineering services context are described, and an approach to modelling IRs in a Complex Engineering Services environment is presented.

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