The Service Design Programme

Service Design

Service design for manufacturers

The Service design programme launched in 2010 and ran for three years. It was developed and delivered by PDR on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government and used service design as a tool for economic growth within the advanced materials and manufacturing sector. 

What was the problem?

In 2009, findings from the Engineering Employers Federation survey revealed that services account for between 15% and 20% of total revenue earned by UK manufacturers. However, these services tended to focus on fixing products, ongoing maintenance, marketing, and sales, rather than a strategic move towards servitisation.

A survey conducted in 2010 by the same organisation highlighted the rise in interest in services from manufacturers, it showed that the number of companies introducing or planning to introduce service innovation had jumped from 17% to 48%.

PDR developed the service design programme to capitalise on this shift and demonstrate how service design can help companies achieve these gains, kick-starting a demand for design-led service innovation.

The programme worked in-house at a strategic level with 90 SMEs or micro-businesses that lacked the resources (finance, staff, skills etc) to undertake a service design project.

What did we do?

We ran a number of workshops, seminars and conferences. The purpose of these events was to raise awareness of service design, provide interested companies with the opportunity to hear from leading figures in the field and to create a network of common interest.

These workshops trained manufacturing staff in service design techniques. They would map out typical “customer journeys” and identify areas that had a significant impact on the customer experience, highlighting good practices, current problems, and potential improvements.
These 90 companies were highly engaged with the programme and demonstrated a commitment to service innovation through internal investment.

In order to create meaningful impact on a business, it was important that the programme engaged with companies over a long period of time. The shift from products to services that service design can exploit is as much about change management as it is about design.

To see the impact that the programme had on some of “the 90” you can take a look at the Hydro Industries and Nuaire case studies. 

Contact Us

Professor Andrew Walters Director of Research