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Industrial services – the solution provider’s stairway to heaven or highway to hell?

Marko Kohtamäki (Networked Value Systems, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland AND Entrepreneurship and Innovation Division, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden)
Petri Helo (Networked Value Systems, University of Vaasa, Vaasa, Finland)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




The role of industrial services has increased in importance as product manufacturing oriented companies have been moving towards industrial services and integrated solutions. While migrating towards solutions provision, manufacturing companies have been developing new Service offerings, service business models logics and methods of service delivery are developed by using new technologies for value co-production and co-creation. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the solution providers perspective by illustrating central approaches tapping into industrial services, such as environment-strategy-fit, scope of industrial service offering, industrial service business capabilities, and servitization process.


The paper reviews literature related to industrial service phenomenon providing a: framework for environment-strategy-fit in the context of Industrial Services taking Fit; defining industrial service business; defining industrial service business capabilities; and a critical perspective toward industrial service business research.


Where this paper provides a framework for environment-strategy-fit in the context of Industrial services, it also develops grounds to consider the maturity levels of servitization in a solution provider context. This paper recognizes the maturity levels of manufacturing companies providing a typology to analyze the level of servitization. Finally, this paper also serves as an introduction to an interesting special issue on industrial services.


The existing industrial service theory related industrial services can be strengthened by developing frameworks and typologies to better understand the transformation from products to industrial services and integrated solutions. technology digitalization and enable operational and outsourcing services, in addition to performance services.



The guest editors would like to thank all the authors who have contributed papers for this special issue and their reviewers. Special thanks are extended to the Editor-in-Chief, Professor Angappa Gunasekaran, who kindly invited us to edit this special issue of Benchmarking: An International Journal, Dr Harri Kulmala of FIMECC (Finnish Metal and Engineering Cluster Company) who proposed the theme area, and Tekes (the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation) who funded the FUTIS (Future of Industrial Services) research program to support activities related to the editorial work of this special issue.


Kohtamäki, M. and Helo, P. (2015), "Industrial services – the solution provider’s stairway to heaven or highway to hell?", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 170-185.



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