Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate service improvements in a manufacturing context. Design/methodology/approach – Action research at the gas turbine manufacturer Siemens was performed during a five‐year period. In addition, 336 fault reports sent to the service division concerning severity, cost, and occurrence were analyzed. Findings – When moving from a fire‐fighting culture to a proactive culture, a company needs to change from a product to a process perspective. The benefit of changing from a product to a process perspective is the change in focus from reduction of internal costs to value creation through service delivery. Practical implications – This paper shows how feedback from dissatisfied customers can be used as a driving factor in process improvements. Based on this knowledge, a company can select the most important Six Sigma projects to improve their service processes. The change from a product to a process perspective shows that traditionally the severity of almost 50 percent of all faults is underestimated. Originality/value – The paper provides a number of fruitful insights on how to work with service improvements in manufacturing companies.
The TQM Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 12, 2010
Keywords: Service levels; Six Sigma; Feedback; Manufacturing industries
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