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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Florian Johannsen and Susanne Leist

The purpose of this paper is to develop a proposed Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions of goods and services.

3145

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a proposed Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions of goods and services.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper follows the principles of design research in developing a Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions. The approach is tested in practice in the context of a financial services company in the automotive industry.

Findings

The study demonstrates that the differential characteristics of service processes and manufacturing processes must be taken into account when developing a Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions. Evaluation of the proposed approach in cooperation with a financial services company reveals considerable benefits.

Research limitations/implications

The detailed description of the approach is limited to the “Define” phase of the Six Sigma program. Moreover, the proposed approach is tested in only one setting; its application in other settings should be an objective for future research.

Practical implications

The paper provides practitioners with a structured Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to propose a Six Sigma approach for integrated solutions of goods and services.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Charlotta Windahl, Pierre Andersson, Christian Berggren and Camilla Nehler

For an increasing number of firms in the capital goods industry, combinations of products and services, so called integrated solutions, are becoming part of their future…

4058

Abstract

For an increasing number of firms in the capital goods industry, combinations of products and services, so called integrated solutions, are becoming part of their future growth strategies. By analysing three case studies, the article highlights the variety of such solutions and some important implications for the involved companies. The analysis suggests that companies need an extended set of competences to succeed in providing integrated solutions, amounting to a balance of technical and integration competence with market/business, consulting and partnering competences. This implies a move from product‐focus to customer‐centric orientation and focus on optimisation of user processes. From a research perspective the paper underlines the importance of integrating studies of product and service innovation, two fields that so far have been studied separately.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 April 2009

Saara A. Brax and Katrin Jonsson

This paper analyzes two manufacturing firms entering condition based maintenance business reveals the complex nature of establishing integrated solutions. Existing…

3966

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyzes two manufacturing firms entering condition based maintenance business reveals the complex nature of establishing integrated solutions. Existing literature on integrated solutions is contrasted critically against empirical findings.

Design/methodology/approach

Descriptive, comparative case study focuses on solution offerings in two different companies. The data consist of 57 thematic interviews of both manufacturer and customer representatives and company documents.

Findings

In integrated solutions, value is created incrementally through the customer‐provider co‐production process. Building integrated solutions business requires managing the interdependence of the solution components – both within the provider company and the offering, and between the provider and the client – to enable this collaborative process.

Research limitations/implications

The case studies were first conducted separately and later compared. However, despite some minor differences in case methodologies, no problems were encountered in the comparative analysis of the data sets.

Originality/value

The paper departs from the canons of earlier literature as it proposes a revised definition for integrated solution offerings; it emphasizes balanced amalgamation of multiple perspectives instead of just replacing the old ones; it questions the view of solutions development as a straight‐forward implementation process; and it switches perspective from the manufacturer to the business of the client as the main system.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Risto Rajala, Saara A. Brax, Ari Virtanen and Anna Salonen

The purpose of this paper is to identify integrated solutions business as the first generation of servitized offerings and modular solution offerings as the second…

3437

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify integrated solutions business as the first generation of servitized offerings and modular solution offerings as the second development phase in servitization of original equipment manufacturers. This study examines how the servitized manufacturer, Kone, moves from integrated solutions to modular solutions business and develops the requisite capabilities to design, produce and implement modular solution offerings.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports a longitudinal case study of a provider of integrated solutions installed in buildings. During the ten years studied, the manufacturer implemented a strategic initiative to modularize its integrated solutions offering.

Findings

The firm’s transition to modular solutions progressed through three major capability development phases: solutions based on ad hoc integration, smart solutions based on modular design and through-chain modularity. The modular structure aims at fostering the efficiency of the solution offering and the associated production system.

Research limitations/implications

Leveraging the benefits of modularity calls for an aligned combination of strategic, operational and technical capabilities contributing to the integration of resources in a modular production system for the solution providers’ competitive performance.

Practical implications

The study reports how a solution provider can develop the operational capabilities to integrate the core and peripheral components into the solution, and orchestrate the modular production system.

Originality/value

This study is a rare longitudinal analysis of how a manufacturer builds a modular offering, the solution platform and the required competitive capabilities to provide the solution.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 March 2022

Wenhui Fu, Min Zhang, Xiande Zhao and Fu Jia

This paper aims to empirically explore the evolution of servitization and how platforms affect the transition between the stages of servitization.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically explore the evolution of servitization and how platforms affect the transition between the stages of servitization.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an in-depth case study of a Chinese manufacturer (i.e. Haier) using a longitudinal design. Three rounds of data collection were conducted between 2014 and 2020. The authors carried out 50 semi-structured interviews and 11 workshops to collect data from senior and middle managers of Haier and its business partners.

Findings

The authors found that Haier’s servitization journey includes three stages (i.e. product-oriented solution, integrated solution and smart connected solutions) that evolve in the target of the services and the digital components of the solutions. Haier has also developed three types of platforms (i.e. service platform, supply chain platform and platform ecosystem) to support the implementation of servitization. The empirical evidence reveals that platforms can address the complexities that emerged when Haier implements the different stages of servitization as well as enable Haier to transition from one stage of servitization to the next.

Originality/value

This study enhances the current understanding of the evolution of servitization and the roles of digital technologies in the transition between the stages of servitization. It also provides empirical evidence regarding how the platform approach enables the development of servitization. By clarifying the interplay between servitization and platforms, this study provides guidelines for managers on how to develop platforms to both advance and benefit from servitization.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Taru Hakanen and Elina Jaakkola

Increased competition and more extensive customer needs have motivated companies to develop integrated solutions. In practice, companies struggle to co‐create effective…

4938

Abstract

Purpose

Increased competition and more extensive customer needs have motivated companies to develop integrated solutions. In practice, companies struggle to co‐create effective solutions that meet customer needs. The purpose of this paper is to identify critical factors affecting the effective co‐creation of customer‐focused solutions within business networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The study investigates the co‐creation of two different types of solution. Data were collected from two business networks comprising 13 companies, including suppliers and their customers. The empirical data comprise 51 interviews and observations made at 21 company workshops.

Findings

Effective co‐creation of solutions requires a fit between the perceptions of multiple suppliers and their customers with regard to core content, operations and processes, customer experience and value of the solution. Co‐creation is affected by, e.g. customer's preferences for participation and value, and the degree of competition, clarity of role division and rapport among the suppliers.

Research limitations/implications

Further empirical research is needed to examine how companies could overcome the problems identified, and reap the opportunities arising from the factors affecting the co‐creation of solutions.

Practical implications

The paper presents a framework that outlines practical activities that help firms to reconcile the perspectives of different actors, and to facilitate the integration of resources when co‐creating solutions within business networks.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the solutions literature by studying solutions as a network‐level process of resource integration between multiple suppliers and their mutual customers, and by applying a service concept framework to the study of integrated solutions.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Usama Abdulazim Mohamed, Galal H. Galal‐Edeen and Adel A. El‐Zoghbi

The previous generations of implemented B2B e‐commerce hub solutions (e‐Marketplaces) did not successfully fulfil the requirements of buyers and suppliers (“Participants”…

2142

Abstract

Purpose

The previous generations of implemented B2B e‐commerce hub solutions (e‐Marketplaces) did not successfully fulfil the requirements of buyers and suppliers (“Participants”) in different business domains to carry out their daily business and online commercial transactions with one another because of their inappropriateness, and lack of flexibility. The limitations of these provided solutions came from a lot of architectural and technological challenges in the provided technical architectures that were used to build these solutions. This research aims to provide a proposed architecture to build integrated B2B e‐Commerce hub solutions. It also aims to make use of bottom‐up/top‐down approaches to building an integrated solution and to resolve the reasons for the failure of previous generations of B2B e‐commerce hubs.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses the EDI reference model, which is provided by the ISO organization to survey and analyze the challenges of previous generations of B2B e‐Commerce hubs solutions and their architectures. The study develops a proposed solution architecture based on the recent approaches to building IOSs to build a B2B e‐commerce hub solution architecture that can be used to implement vertical B2B e‐commerce hubs (vertical e‐Marketplaces). The paper assesses the capabilities of the proposed solution architecture for building vertical B2B e‐Marketplaces by applying the proposed architecture to the building of a vertical B2B e‐Marketplace for the oil and gas sector in Egypt.

Findings

Previous B2B e‐Commerce hub initiatives failed to extend their products and services to their “Participants”, and required substantial investment and effort from each “Participant” to join such a B2B e‐Commerce hub. The failure of these IOS projects lies in their inability to integrate B2B e‐Commerce networks based on IOS and consequently, they supported very few partners and “Participants”. These IOS approaches did not resolve the existing challenges of B2B e‐Commerce hubs, especially in the realm of interoperability.

Originality/value

The main contribution of the proposed architecture comes from the creation of a clear automatic path between a business requirements layer and a technology layer by combining both Service Oriented Architecture and management requirements in a single framework to provide dynamic products and flexible services. It provides a complete Multi Channel Framework to resolve the interoperability challenges.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Integrated Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-561-0

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Marinos Themistocleous and Zahir Irani

During the last three decades, a number of autonomous and, in many cases, heterogeneous systems have been evolved in organisations which cause integration problems and…

5686

Abstract

During the last three decades, a number of autonomous and, in many cases, heterogeneous systems have been evolved in organisations which cause integration problems and increase the complexity and cost of maintaining these applications. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems were then introduced to overcome integration problems. However, organisations did not abandon their existing systems when adopting an ERP solution, as ERP systems focus on general processes and do not allow much customisation. As a result, ERP systems co‐exist alongside other systems, and therefore amplify the need for integration. Recently, a new generation of software solutions called Application Integration (AI) has been introduced to address integration issues. AI is a new area with limited literature and documentation and explains the integration of basic types of applications and summarises the benefits of and the barriers to the adoption of an AI solution. Uses benchmarking to search and study best practices in the integration area. Explains how AI can be used by organisations to help them increase their productivity and improve their business processes. In addition, proposes a taxonomy of AI benefits and barriers when mapped against custom, packaged and e‐business solutions. The proposed taxonomy will help researchers to better understand, analyse and compare the benefits and barriers of AI and will therefore improve decision making.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2007

Navadon Sortrakul and C. Richard Cassady

This paper seeks to improve solution procedures for solving a larger version of the integrated preventive maintenance planning and production scheduling model with a total…

1021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to improve solution procedures for solving a larger version of the integrated preventive maintenance planning and production scheduling model with a total weighted expected tardiness objective function introduced in a 2003 paper by Cassady and Kutanoglu using a genetic algorithm heuristic procedure.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, heuristics based on genetic algorithms are developed to solve the integrated model.

Findings

The performance of the proposed genetic algorithm heuristics are evaluated using multiple instances of several problem sizes. The results indicate that the proposed genetic algorithms can effectively be used to solve the integrated problem.

Practical implications

The heuristics presented in this paper significantly improve the ability of the decision‐maker to consider larger instances of the integrated model. One may ask, “how significant is that improvement?” The answer depends on the specific industrial context under consideration and the definition of a “job”.

Originality/value

Typically, production scheduling and preventive maintenance planning is planned and executed independently in spite of the inter‐dependent relationship between them. However, the 2003 paper by Cassady and Kutanoglu demonstrates the benefit of using the integrated model to solve these two problems simultaneously. However, their solution procedure is limited to small problems (6‐jobs or less). Therefore, this study intends to improve the solution procedure to solve larger instances of the problem.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

Keywords

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