Customer Observation as a Source of Latent Customer Needs and Radical New Ideas for Product-Service Systems

  • J. Hanski
  • M. Reunanen
  • S. Kunttu
  • E. Karppi
  • M. Lintala
  • H. Nieminen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


The importance of maintaining close contact with customers and utilizing customer-based information has been emphasized in the industrial service and product-service systems (PSS) literature. A profound understanding of the customer’s business and production environment is needed for successful PSS development. The conventional methods for gathering information about customers (surveys, feedback and interviews) typically result in incremental improvements and information about existing products and services. The focus of this paper is on how the information and ideas from customer contacts can be better captured to enable radical improvements. A framework for capturing the customer ideas is presented. The framework is based on customer observation methodology, entrepreneurial opportunity recognition model, front end of innovation literature as well as the experiences of a case study and interviews.


Enterprise Resource Planning Frontline Employee Customer Contact Opportunity Identification Service Oriented Manufacturing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors gratefully acknowledge the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES) for the financial support that made this study possible. We also wish to thank the interviewed companies and especially the case company Fastems.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Hanski
    • 1
  • M. Reunanen
    • 1
  • S. Kunttu
    • 1
  • E. Karppi
    • 2
  • M. Lintala
    • 2
  • H. Nieminen
    • 2
  1. 1.VTT Technical Research Centre of FinlandTampereFinland
  2. 2.Fastems Oy AbTampereFinland

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