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)

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Marketing 

Notes

Acknowledgments

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.

References

  1. 1.
    Chesbrough HW (2003) Open innovation: the new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Harv Business Press, BostonGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Panesar S, Markeset T (2008) Development of a framework for industrial service innovation management and coordination. J Qual Maintenance Eng 14(2):177–193CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Ahonen T, Reunanen M, Kunttu S, Hanski J, Välisalo T (2011) Customer needs and knowledge in product-service systems. In: Proceedings of the 24th international congress on condition monitoring and diagnostics engineering management, Stavanger, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Olsen NV, Sallis J (2006) Market scanning for new service development. Eur J Mark 40(5/6):466–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nambisan S (2002) Designing virtual environments for new product development: toward a theory. Acad Manag Rev 27(3):392–413Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Slater S (2001) Market orientation at the beginning of a new millennium. Managing Serv Qual 11(4):230–232MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Tukker A, Tischner U (2006) Product-services as a research field: past, present and future. Reflections from a decade of research. J Clean Prod 14(17):1552–1556CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schmidt-Bleek F (1993) Wieviel Umwelt braucht der Mensch? MIPS—das Mass für ökologisches Wirtschaften. In Tukker A, Tischner U (2006) Product-services as a research field: past, present and future. Reflections from a decade of research. J Clean Prod 14(17):1552–1556Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Wise R, Baumgartner P (1999) Go downstream—the new profit imperative in manufacturing. Harv Bus Rev 77:133–141Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Mont O (2001) Introducing and developing a product-service system (PSS) in Sweden. IIIEE Lund University, LundGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Van Halen C, Vezzoli C, Wimmer R (2005) Methodology for product service system innovation: how to develop clean, clever and competitive strategies in companies. Uitgeverij Van Gorcum, AssenGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Baines TS, Lightfoot HW, Evans S, Neely A, Greenough R, Peppard J, Roy R, Shehab E, Braganza A, Tiwari A, Alcock JR, Angus JP, Bastl M, Cousens A, Irving P, Johnson M, Kingston J, Lockett H, Martinez V, Michele P, Tranfield D, Walton IM, Wilson H (2007) State-of-the-art in product-service systems. IMechE Part B J Eng Manuf 221(B10):1543–1552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Koen P, Ajamian G, Boyce S, Clamen A, Fisher E, Fountoulakis S, Johnson A, Pushpinder P, Seibert R (2002) Fuzzy front end: effective methods, tools and techniques. In: Belliveau P, Griffin A, Somermeyer S (2005) The PDMA toolbook for new product development. Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Jongbae K, Wilemon D (2002) Focusing the fuzzy front-end in new product development. R & D Management 4:269–279Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Apilo T, Taskinen T (2006) Innovaatioiden johtaminen. Espoo, Finland: Research Notes 2330. In FinnishGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    de Jong J, Vermeulen P (2003) Organizing successful new service development: a literature review. Manag Decis 41(9):844–858CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    de Brentani U (2001) Innovative versus incremental new business service: different keys for achieving success. J Prod Innovation Manage 18:169–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gebauer H, Krempl R, Fleisch E (2008) Service development in traditional product manufacturing companies. Eur J Innovation Manage 11(2):219–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Matthing J, Sandén B, Edvardsson B (2004) New service development: learning from and with customers. Int J Serv Ind Manage 15(5):479–498CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Prahalad CK, Ramaswamy V (2004) Co-creating unique value with customers. Strategy Leadersh 32(3):4–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sawhney M, Prandelli E (2000) Communities of creation: managing distributed innovation in turbulent markets. Calif Manage Rev 42(4):24–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Leonard D, Rayport J (1997) Spark innovation through empathic design. Harv Bus Rev 75(6):102–113Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rosenthal SR, Capper M (2006) Ethnographies in the front end: designing for enhanced customer experiences. J Prod Innovation Manage 23:215–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Wägar K (2008) Exploring tools for learning about customers in a service setting. Int J Serv Ind Manage 19(5):596–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Krueckeberg H (1989) Supermarket customer observation and electronic data analysis with implications for the marketing plan. J Food Distrib Res 20(1):74–90 http://econpapers.repec.org/article/agsjlofdr/27913.htm
  26. 26.
    Ardichvili A, Cardozo R, Sourav R (2003) A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. J Bus Ventur 18:105–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Granovetter M (1973) The strength of weak ties. Am J Sociol 7(6):1360–1380CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ray S, Cardozo R (1996) Sensitivity and creativity in entrepreneurial opportunity recognition: a framework for empirical investigation. Presented at the sixth global entrepreneurship research conference, Imperial College, London. In: Ardichvili A, Cardozo R, Sourav R (2003) A theory of entrepreneurial opportunity identification and development. J Bus Ventur 18:105–123Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations