Product-Service-Lifecycle: Methods and Functions for the Development and Management of Product-Related Services

Product-Service-Lifecycle: Methods and Functions for the Development and Management of Product-Related Services

Kyrill Meyer, Michael Thieme, Christian Zinke
DOI: 10.4018/jssmet.2013040102
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Product-related services are not sufficiently enough systematically and technically supported. Whereas sophisticated development and management systems for the entire lifecycle of products exist, the support of services is only insufficient. The authors’ developed a holistic concept as basis for IT support functions that are developed by practical reference processes.
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1. Aim Of The Project

Offering product-related services has become the key for the success of good-producing companies. In many cases such services become – towards competitors – an important unique selling proposition (Lay & Erceg, 2002). However, in practice, one can observe a deficit of attention regarding on development and management of product-related services in relation to the development and management of the product (Schniering, 2009). We can identify a theoretical and practical gap in respect of hybrid added value regarding a systematic development und active management over entire lifecycle of product-related services (Aurich, 2010). Due to a lack of systematic approaches, the offered services induce numerous problems, such as a correct cost estimation, quality assurance or cost transfer and communication to the customers. Up to now, the potential of companies cannot be fully exploited as services are delivered ineffective and in deficit. Among others, one reason is the insufficient effort of management methods, like service engineering or standard operating procedures. Our holistic management approach combined with a supporting system addresses the problem of offering product-related services.

A pure Product-Lifecycle-Management (PLM) is enriched with a Service-Lifecycle-Management (SLM) and thus called a Product-Service-Lifecycle-Management (PSLM) in the following elaborations. The new concept of PSLM and our identified reference processes enables the description of core functions with reference character. The aim of this integrated Product-Service-Lifecycle-Management is to increase profitability and the quality of package of service and product by an active management over the entire lifecycle. Therefore, the companies have to account for services with the same seriousness as they handle traditional products; moreover they have to ensure coherent management knowledge for services as well as for products.

1.1. Product-Lifecycle-Management (PLM)

The product lifecycle includes all processes in the lifecycle of a product, starting from the idea till the phasing out. Product-Lifecycle-Management (PLM) designates a strategic management concept of a product along its lifecycle. The PLM concept also comprises IT-systems as methods, processes and organizational structure (Sendler, 2009). In order to efficiency put a method into praxis, we need information, data, which are created in a product lifecycle, as well as information from other sources (for example from other products). The database, including all information, has to be created, administered and need to be accessible to support different management methods. Thus, data management is supported by different IT-Tools. From a technical point of view, these instruments or tools are created for the purpose of promotion and administration of collaboration as well as they are necessary for information exchange between the stakeholders involved in the process. These central tasks are guaranteed, by an IT-based support of a PLM, the component “Product-Data-Management”. Furthermore, additional management methods are used in PLM (Eigner & Stelzer, 2009; Sendler, 2009). These include, inter alia, project management, test management, product management (manufacturing), resource management supply chain management, procurement, marketing and recycling management, requirement and customer care management. It further comprises idea management, process management, quality management as well as environmental and sustainability management and technology management (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

PLM methods (see (Meyer et al., 2012))


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