Service Engineering

Efficient Development of Innovative Service Businesses

Successful companies are already exploiting the potential of innovative business models such as availability guarantees and subscription- or platform-based business models. In order to counteract the sometimes rapid upheavals on service markets as well as increasing competitive pressures, companies must further develop their service portfolio into solutions if they want to secure high margins and increasing sales in the future. Service Engineering is the application-oriented research partner for manufacturing companies. Here, reserchers explore and design industrial and product-related services, performance systems (Product-Service Systems) and data-based services (Smart Services).

However, providers of such solutions have to overcome various conceptual and operational hurdles: In most cases there is no structured process for service development in place. In addition, there is a lack of experience in market launches, including the expertise to provide successful and stable innovative solutions. Service Engineering helps companies to structure the diverse questions and issues involved in the development of innovative solutions and services. These are answered successively within an established and systematic procedure.

Together with you we develop a customer-centric service portfolio for your company which is embedded in sustainable business models.

In order to develop innovative services and solutions, the Service Engineering unit applies the Aachen Service Engineering cycle, which is divided into four fields of action, from idea generation through to market launch. As part of the idea generation process, customer needs are identified and a strategy and management program is developed. Applied methods include the Value Proposition Canvas, Customer Journeys, and the Kano Model. For strategy development, methods such as BCG and McKinsey matrices as well as Porter's Five Forces are used. For the purpose of concept design, the business model is detailed using the Business Model Canvas and the Business Case Calculator. Value stream analyses and service blueprinting are used to design the performance architecture.

Once the innovative service has been developed, the process and structural organization must be adapted to – or created for – its implementation. To integrate the new service components, new structures, resources and processes must be defined and established. The Service Engineering unit supports this process by designing processes as well as activity and competency matrices. With the help of FIR’s three-phase concept, the necessary IT system landscape is also adapted or newly set up.

In the final phase of the cycle, the aim is to launch, continuously review and improve the new service offering. On the basis of process models for the development of sales and market entry strategies, the Service Engineering division uses tools such as conjoint analyses to successfully position the service. Finally, service performance must be continuously monitored. Key figure systems as well as methods such as Service FMEA and Balanced Scorecard provide relevant insights into costs and benefits.

The Service Engineering unit supports all phases of service engineering with its structured approach:

Key topics in service engineering are ...

... the development of innovative services, e.g. through

  • the systematic generation of new ideas and the establishment of an innovation management system
  • the detailing of service provision processes
  • the design of appropriate process and structural organization

... the development towards becominga solution provider, e.g.

  • the integration of value-added services into the service portfolio
  • the harmonization of the product and service offering in terms of costs and benefits

... the development of viable business models, e.g.

  • the development of the revenue mechanism
  • the design of the service offering
  • the definition of the service provision incl. the required resources

... the optimization of the service portfolio

  • the avoidance of cost-intensive product diversity
  • the development of a market-relevant service portfolio

... the use and integration of digitalization potentials

  • the use and integration of new technologies
  • the integration of sensors and services
  • the creation and integration of platforms

Service engineering is convincing through the use of practice-relevant tools and methods

The Service Engineering unit has a systematic, structured process for the definition, development and design of service products in place, the Aachen service engineering cycle. By means of suitable process models, methods and tools, this results in an increase in effectiveness and efficiency of the development process.