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SME:s and the selling of problem-solving
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3685-2072
Number of Authors: 12016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Research tends to have a focus on bigger businesses and projects, easily forgetting the SMEs roll in these bigger projects. A qualitative study was conducted within a network of automation companies, all SME:s and mostly microbusinesses. All of the companies explain how they have a core group, or single, customer/s. They do take the odd jobs from others from time to time. Usually they start with a product, such as robot or specialized machinery, and then they add-on services and usually build a long-term relationship where they can interact on a weekly basis to fix problems with the production line, but also to be able to sell new products and services. Their main selling point when asked why a customer returns is that they can solve problems for their customers. Usually the product they do sell is something created with their problem solving skill, it is very rarely a product of the shelf. Manufacturing businesses tend to see this as a machine or robot that they are buying. This is why it is interesting to flip and look from the other side, what are these businesses actually selling. The conclusion is that several of the companies have moved, and are still moving, from selling a product towards selling products and services where they are selling their ability to solve problems on the fly in a functioning production system. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
Production innovation, Automation, Problem-solving, PSS, Qualitative research
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Product Innovation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62323OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-62323DiVA, id: diva2:1078993
Conference
7th Swedish Production Symposium, Lund, 25-27 October 2016
Available from: 2017-03-07 Created: 2017-03-07 Last updated: 2017-11-24Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(196 kB)124 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • en-US
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Output format
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