A popular concept is using the extended three Ps so an organisation can build services around the product. This approach is known as service bundling and is a normally a key source of competitive advantage. In general there are five base aspects to this method:
This is often associated with Information Communication Technology (ICT), for example with data management or hosting companies servers will be constantly monitored for faults, and any problems will be resolved quicker or before catastrophic failure happens. Such companies have temperature sensor on wire bundles to identify fire risk, the monitor electricity supply and have back up generators ready to kick in should they lose power.
Computer software will now automatically update, reports are sent back if any crashes take place so developers can weed out potential bugs. The ‘Adobe’ software company distributes their software online via their ‘Creative Cloud’. A central place to download software, store files and access an online community.
Finance and leasing
Big-ticket items for most have a inherent characteristic of cost that can deter people from a purchase. These big-tickets items also start competing with other luxury items outside of their own immediate industry. For example, a new kitchen purchase may be competing against a new conservatory purchase. Finance and leasing options become a necessary so people can buy based on future wealth earned. These legal arrangements are opportunities to start forming long-term relationships and a whole host of opportunities to bundle more services into the offering.
Operation and support activities
Microsoft and other software companies will have technical help lines. In the past consumers could sometimes be charged a premium of 50p per minute for the privilege.
Retrofitting and updating
Retrofitting is the practice of adding a component or accessory to something that did not have it when manufactured.
Recently Google (2015) rolled out search engine algorithms that for the first time set standards to how a site needs to be built so when it is viewed on a mobile device it does in the best possible way. This has led to thousands of website needing an updated.
Maintenance and repair
This service is commonplace throughout a variety of different and diverse industry sectors. It could range from a 24,000 mile service for a car or for a website it might be a yearly site audit.
The code that a website is built on changes over time, for instance some code becomes depreciated and no longer supported as browsers change their own platforms, and with a multitude of browsers out there a site needs to be regularly maintained to keep up with the changes in technology. This will include keeping up to date the site security, amending the platform files as and when possible weaknesses to eternal attack are found and closed.
Remember that context is vitally important as to what processes you use and that ‘service design’ in all its facets borrows from various concepts in order to deliver the most relevant blend of approaches to suit the project in hand.