Doctoral dissertation

Integrating services with product offering of project-based firms: what and how?

Within industrial settings, customers have increasing demands for procuring services, such as equipment maintenance, fault detection and correction, and condition monitoring from project suppliers. Many project-based firms in technology industry offer a combination of products and services that together constitute a solution that delivers certain value to their customers. However, the practicalities associated with integrating services in the solution offering may hold the firms back. Khadijeh Momeni’s doctoral study addressed these practicalities by providing a new conceptual understanding and empirical insight into service integration.

Finland’s technology industry is one of the strengths of the Finnish economy and exports. The machinery and equipment sector, as one of the key sectors in the technology industry, consists of various large and small-medium-sized firms in the fields of construction equipment and building material machinery, mining machinery, robotics and automation, power systems, industrial plant manufacturing, and so on. Finnish firms in the technology industry look for increasing share of services in their business and a rise in customer-specific system solutions and integrated services. But how can they integrate services with the already great equipment business? How are they supposed to integrate different internal and external organisational units to support solution business?    

The solution offering links the completed project to services and extends the project life cycle from the project delivery phase to post-project phase, when the solution is utilised by the customer. The increasing inclusion of services within solutions implies that project-based firms are more closely involved in their customers’ businesses and processes. Unfortunately, bundling project and service components cannot always promise successful solution business, but project-based firms must activate the relationship through integration practices between organisational units as well as with external actors, such as distributors.

Doctoral researcher Khadijeh Momeni has explored six project-based firms in technology industry from two distinctive perspectives, the process of combining service and project components and the organisational integration of business units, partners, processes, people, and technology to enable integrating service business in the existing value chain of the firm.  The findings demonstrated solution sales and delivery as crucial steps for integrating services with a solution offering. The study revealed that project-based firms face various challenges at sales-service, project operation-service, and project-based firm-distributor interfaces. Further, the study suggested different organisational integration practices that facilitate integration across internal and external actors and conceptualised these practices based on type of challenges to overcome, solution life cycle, type of interfaces, the experience level of actors, and uncertainty in the environment.

The doctoral dissertation of MSc Khadijeh Momeni in the field of project and service business titled Service Integration in the Downstream Value Chain of Project-based Firms will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences at Tampere University at 12 o’clock on Friday 8th November 2019 in Hervanta campus Festia building auditorium Pieni Sali 1, Korkeakoulunkatu 8, Tampere.  The Opponent will be Professor Mats Engwall from KTH Royal Institute of Technology of Sweden. The Custos will be Professor Miia Martinsuo from the Faculty of Management and Business.

 

The dissertation is available online at http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-1274-9

 

Photo: Hamed Fatahi