Opportunities and Challenges in the Value Chain for Companies through a Changing Understanding of Products on the Example of Shape Memory Actuators Systems
Rathmann Christian*, Klenk Stefanie and Kreimeier Dieter
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Institute of Product and Service Engineering Chair of Production Systems, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
- *Corresponding Author:
- Rathmann Christian
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Institute of Product and Service Engineering Chair of Production Systems
Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: January 23, 2015; Accepted Date: February 28, 2015; Published Date: March 10, 2015
Citation: Christian R, Stefanie K, Dieter K (2015) Opportunities and Challenges in the Value Chain for Companies through a Changing Understanding of Products on the Example of Shape Memory Actuators Systems. J Entrepren Organiz Manag 4:130. doi: 10.4172/2169-026X.1000130
Copyright: © 2015 Christian R, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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. The attention is then drawn to shape memory actuators in that their possible and existing services over their lifetime are discussed. Based on this, an integrated value chain for shape memory actuator systems is created which considers traditional value-added steps for products as well as new steps due to changing technology and the increasing importance of service. In relation to this, existing business models for shape memory actuator systems are analyzed and hypotheses for future business models are developed. For these hypotheses, opportunities and challenges as well as necessary competencies within this integrated value chain are highlighted. In this context, especially features of small and medium-sized companies are taken into account. Further studies should be performed to investigate shape memory applications regarding its value chain and its potentials for services. Moreover, value chains in combination with services as well as technology in general should be analyzed. Especially small and mediumsized companies are excellent examples to illustrate the developed business models.