Opportunities and Challenges

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Opportunities and Challenges
The business environment is changing. In the past, just selling products proved to be sufficient. Internationalization, decreasing revenues and technological competition are forcing companies to rethink their products and thus their business models. Today’s technological products offer new functionalities and therefore potential for services. However, more and more electronics and information technology is required. Consequently, the understanding of value creation is changing and accordingly traditional value chains have to be extended to meet these demands. Nevertheless, the extended value chain can help companies in developing proper business models; allow for a differentiation from competitive companies and for the identification of required competences. Shape memory actuator systems are good examples to illustrate these issues. This paper starts by shortly defining products, services and industrial productservice systems. Additionally, an overview about existing services in mechanical engineering is given and compared to services in general.
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