Product-Service Systems across Life Cycle
Industrial procurement is exposed to an increased service-oriented supplier market. However, industrial e-marketplaces for product-services that are accepted by buying experts are rare. Possible buyer benefits of e-markets such as access to a wider range of markets, accumulation of required information, and increase of market transparency cannot be utilized. Currently, product-services are at best traded within closed silos that offer mainly manual search and comparison capabilities through a web storefront. A lack of existing "generic" industry-sector-specific concepts for service description is a main problem that the potential of e-commerce is not utilized for product-services. This article analyzes the requirements for service representation at e- markets regarding the manufacturing domain. State-of-the-art concepts of business service description are considered at the beginning of this research. Because of the heterogeneity of product-services, a case study was conducted in order to identify relevant product-services in the manufacturing domain. In order to study a real case scenario, a "first-tier supplier" in the automotive industry was used in this research study. This company is specialized in systems engineering and systems serial assembly. Typical product-services of this company source are manufactured products needed for serial production, for example, casting, milling, turning, or injecting molding parts, alongside a wide range of services. Investigating the professional purchasing department was necessary to analyze the requirements in service description throughout the complete buying process, commencing with the conceptual product design stage until the serial product delivery.
Information and Communication Technology