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Understanding, measuring, and shaping service productivity

Productivity guidelines with tips for business practice.

With the right services, companies can improve their performance and be more competitive. But is there a reliable way to measure how productive the services offered really are? The Productivity of Services Strategic Partnership has now published recommendations and guidelines.

Services are Germany’s most significant economic factor: According to the German Federal Statistical Office, this sector contributed around 68 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in 2012. However, services are becoming ever more important even beyond the traditional service sector. They offer many companies a way out of the crisis; combined with innovative technologies, for instance, services can open up completely new business areas. But how can we measure the productivity of a service? The topic of service productivity raises many questions to which the scientific and business communities are still seeking answers. In essence it is a question of understanding, measuring, and shaping service productivity.

In April 2010 the Productivity of Services Strategic Partnership was set up to drive this research and to build up and refine its subject matter. In December 2012, the Strategic Partnership presented its key results from two and a half years of work and discussed practical solutions at the “Focus on service productivity: ideas for how to improve resource management” event. The key question was how companies can go about applying various effective ideas on how to shape the productivity of services.

The results of this research are now available in printed form as a set of productivity guidelines that present the work of the Strategic Partnership’s eight working groups and cover the following topics:

• Controlling for service productivity
• Service productivity with SMEs
• Service productivity with technology
• Micro- / macroeconomic aspects of service productivity
• Productivity in the development of services
• Productivity of service work
• Productivity of service systems
• Scientific basis and the science of services
Each productivity guideline is made up of future scenarios or horizons for the year 2020, with real-world examples and suggested applications as well as recommendations for business practice.

The brochures can be purchased individually at a price of 10 euros each or as a complete set at a discounted price of 50 euros.

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
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