The customer plays an important part in the provision of services. Frequently the customer's influence on the productivity of a specific service and ultimately on an enterprise as a whole is much more than negligible and may even be decisive. For this reason, the traditional understanding of productivity, i.e. the relation of input and output, is inadequate for services. In particular, the interaction and the long-term perspective (towards sustainability) need more consideration. In addition to the scientific discussion about definitions and control mechanisms, especially solutions for practical application are in demand.
The Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO has explored the issue of how to control and boost service productivity and developed numerous solutions for its clients for a few years. The spectrum of solutions ranges from the definition of key indicators through the design of processes and the interaction with the customer to the customization of business models and service portfolios. Moreover, the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO coordinates the strategic partnership titled »Productivity of Services«, which joins the competencies of businesses, researchers and transfer partners.