Services are assuming an increasingly important role in the business models of technology based companies as organisations shift from a product-based model to one that is more service-oriented. Services now represent over 75% of employment in the UK and are increasingly important in traditionally product based industries such as aerospace, defence and transportation. For many years, services have been used by suppliers to increase revenues and differentiate their products from their competitors.
The Institute for Manufacturing has worked with BAE Systems and IBM since 2005 to study manufacturers’ provision of through-life and other complex services; the so-called ‘servitization’ of manufacturing. While service provision potentially offers more stable revenue streams and strengthens relationships between suppliers and customers, the transition to service provision involves significant additional business risk.
Cambridge Service Alliance
In 2010 the Institute for Manufacturing joined with Cambridge’s Judge Business School, BAE Systems and IBM to launch the Cambridge Service Alliance. The Alliance brings together some of the world’s best firms and researchers devoted to delivering today the insights, education and approaches needed for the complex service solutions of tomorrow.
More details of the work of the Alliance can be found on its dedicated website here. This includes details of:
- Research - details of research activities carried out within the Alliance, as well as other service research within the University of Cambridge.
- Education – details of both executive education teaching and courses within the University of Cambridge on Services.
- Events – a list of forthcoming events including details of the annual Service Week events
- News – including news updates and a quarterly newsletter
- Outputs – Reports, Papers, Presentations and Podcasts
The Institute for Manufacturing also leads KT-Box the EPSRC Knowledge Transfer Award in service. This brings together five leading UK universities and UK industry to develop tools to support the rapid adoption of early maturing academic research related to engineering and complex services.
- "Succeeding through Service Innovation" - a service perspective for education, research, business and government white paper, in collaboration with IBM.
- "Support Service Solutions: Strategy and Transition" A ten university collaborative project in partnerships with BAE Systems and EPSRC
- "Multi-Organisation Networks". Led by the Centre for International Manufacturing.
The IfM's Service research programme is led by Andy Neely and Duncan McFarlane, and coordinated by Chris Pearson. It draws on researchers from the Distributed Information and Automation Laboratory, the Centre for International Manufacturing, the Centre for Strategy and Performance and the Centre for Technology Management.