In the delivery from a company towards a customer, the service portion has increased, and this trend is expected to continue. The outcome of this is an increased focus on content, processes and tools in the service delivery.
Out of tradition, the delivery of services is quite different from the delivery of other products. In the development and improvement of service delivery it is common to find the following challenges and needs:
• To make the service delivery process more efficient. This requires standardization, automation and the creation of service packages towards customers.
• To define the product life cycle of a service product. On the next level, there are questions around the definition, creation, life span, and change request handling of the service products.
• To be able to govern the service delivery. This is mainly about financial control to be able to measure the profitability of a service product.
It is rather common that the service offerings of companies are based on only the customers’ need, without considering the companies’ own or external service resources. It is also common that there is no defined structure covering all the involved parties from customer to service delivery organization. Creating that structure is a significant challenge and is the foundation for potential improvements. To be more specific, the challenge is how much the service product can be standardized without compromising the flexibility towards customer and internal efficiency.
My experience is that this balance is easier to find if the activities of both internal and external service providers have been standardized, and when these then have been combined into service packages towards customers.
Other advantages from standardizing service activities are:
• Simplified resource and capacity planning
• Easier allocation of resources
• Decreased number of service products , leading to a more efficient service product maintenance
• Increased capability to createE-commerce solutions towards customers as well as external service providers
You have probably done these things for your company’s physical products – the conclusion is that now is the time to do it for your service products as well.