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Journal cover: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management

ISSN: 1741-038X
Previously published as: Integrated Manufacturing Systems

Online from: 2004

Subject Area: Operations and Logistics Management

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Servitization within manufacturing: Exploring the provision of advanced services and their impact on vertical integration

Document Information:
Title:Servitization within manufacturing: Exploring the provision of advanced services and their impact on vertical integration
Author(s):Tim Baines, (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK), Howard Lightfoot, (Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK), Palie Smart, (Cranfield University, Cranfield, UK)
Citation:Tim Baines, Howard Lightfoot, Palie Smart, (2011) "Servitization within manufacturing: Exploring the provision of advanced services and their impact on vertical integration", Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Vol. 22 Iss: 7, pp.947 - 954
Keywords:Competitive strategy, Manufacturing industries, Servitization, Supply chain management, Vertical integration
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17410381111160988 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of the EPSRC, and also the time and commitment of staff across the collaborating companies. The authors are especially thankful to the two reviewers of this article for their helpful feedback.

Purpose – The debate about services-led competitive strategies continues to grow, with much interest emerging around the differing practices between production and servitized operations. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to this discussion by investigating the vertical integration practice (in particular the micro-vertical integration, otherwise known as the supply chain position) of manufacturers who are successful in their adoption of servitization.

Design/methodology/approach – To achieve this the authors have investigated a cross-section of four companies which are successfully delivering advanced services coupled to their products.

Findings – Manufacturers who have embraced the servitization trend tend to retain capabilities in design and production, and do so because this benefits their speed, effectiveness and costs of supporting assets on advanced services contracts.

Research limitations/implications – These are preliminary findings from a longer term research programme.

Practical implications – Through this research note the authors seek to simultaneously contribute to the debate in the research community and offer guidance to practitioners exploring the consequences of servitization.

Originality/value – Successful servitization demands that manufacturers adopt new and alternative practices and technologies to those traditionally associated with production operations. A prevailing challenge is to understand these differences and their underpinning rationale. Therefore, in this research note, the authors report on the practices of four case companies, explore the rationale underpinning these, and propose an hypothesis for the impact on vertical integration of successful servitization.

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