A systems approach for balancing internal company capability and external client demand for integrated product-service solutions

2009-10-06T11:44:39Z (GMT) by Maged Morcos Michael Henshaw
This paper offers a systems thinking approach for easing the tension between the front office (responsible for meeting client requirements) and the back office (responsible for providing necessary company capabilities) in the transformation of a product focused company to a product service provider. These parts of the company may have competing objectives and cultures that must be reconciled to ease the train of tension between them. We propose consideration of these parts as individual systems within a system of systems construct and suggest the creation of a central function as a third system, the purpose of which is to manage the interoperability between the front and back offices. The central function provides a leadership role and an integrating function for the company, the outcome of which should be firstly to act as a catalyst for changing the mindset of individuals within the organization towards the product service endeavour and, secondly, a strategic balance in terms of implementing policy in accordance with the changing external business environment. The management of this balance between the product system and the service system within the same organization is a crucial element of sustainability.