Researchers and practitioners in Cambridge2019-04-23
Digital services and platforms were in focus when CTF and Cambridge Service Alliance held a seminar at Cambridge University, England. Researchers and partner companies presented current projects and future challenges. It was a successful event where academia and practitioners met to exchange experiences and insights.
Dr. Mohamed Zaki, Cambridge Service Alliance, and Professor Bo Edvardsson, CTF, started the seminar by introducing the research centers, which both conduct research on services. Professor Edvardsson encouraged collaboration between different competencies, an important factor in meeting today’s challenges, such as climate, globalization, and digitalization.
Future digital services and platforms
Christina Stenman Jörgensen, Volvo Group, talked about their investment in services and development of sustainable transport and automated vehicles – where customer benefit, safety and the environment are in focus, and collaboration between different actors is necessary.
"The world is constantly changing and customers’ expectations are high. New technology is driving the development forward. Automation and new vehicles are completely changing existing business models, and we need to find new ways to capitalize."
Ikea, like Volvo and many traditional manufacturing companies, is facing a transition from focusing on products to investing in services – a transition that requires new methods and solutions. One approach, to meeting this, is their “Customer Experience Program”, and Maria Möllerskov Jonzon, and Anneli Palm talked about how their work on this program.
"Today’s customers want a seamless shopping experience where they can decide when and how they shop, and how to get their products delivered. Our customer program will help us prioritize, and get to know our customers better and gain knowledge on how they experience our products and services. By doing this we can improve our relation and service to our customers."
Poja Shams, CTF, presented research on customer experiences and different technics to measure customer behaviour, for example eye-tracking, that has been carried out together with, among others, Christer Johansson, Ica Maxi Supermarket in Karlstad, who also participated in the seminar.
The companies CRH and Fintech Lab, partners with Cambridge Service Alliance, talked about digital transformation and blockchain. Mohamed Zaki shared thoughts on customer experiences in the future and how digital platforms are changing the way companies can communicate with customers, and at the same time changes customer behavior.
The seminar was rounded off with a workshop where the participants had the opportunity for discussions in smaller groups. In the evening, a dinner was arranged at St Catharine’s College.
The importance of collaboration between different actors
The seminar on April 4 was an activity within CTF's research profile "Service Innovation for Sustainable Business", funded by the Knowledge Foundation. The following partner companies participated in the seminar: Ikea, Volvo, Valmet and Ica Maxi.
- I am pleased to have this opportunity to visit Cambridge together with our industrial partners, to discuss common issues and find challenges that we can tackle together. We have created a platform for joint research- and collaboration projects which we hope is developing for both researchers and partners,” says Lars Witell, Professor at CTF and leader of the research profile