Title: Proactive contracting + Service design = Success!

Authors: Katri Rekola, Helena Haapio

Addresses: Rekola Design Oy, Kaukolantie 4, 02140 Espoo, Finland. ' Lexpert Ltd, Pohjoisranta 20, 00170 Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: The servitisation of the manufacturing industry involves a shift from products to services and from transactions to relationships. Companies are becoming more dependent on each other, which entails a growing importance of good business relationships and relationship management. Contracts have been widely neglected in prior service research, yet they can play an important role as relationship management tools. Contracts can guide the service relationship and the parties| collaboration and interaction, but only if they are designed to do so. Contractual issues should be considered early on, starting with service/product development. Collaboration, both internally and externally, and the promotion of good practices are essential ingredients of the proactive approach. Contract productisation and visualisation, along with the merger of proactive contracting and service design, provide promising new ways to competitive advantage and increased business success.

Keywords: servitisation; contractualisation; proactive contracting; relational contracting; competitive advantage; relationship management; productisation; proactive service design; visualisation; manufacturing industry.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2011.042783

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2011 Vol.3 No.4, pp.376 - 392

Published online: 04 Oct 2011 *

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