Throughout Japanes history, manufacturing companies have supported the national economy. However, they are at an important crossroad in their survival and must tackle and solve many difficult issues, e.g., global competition, global environment problems, and elevated material and employment costs. In order to grow in sustainability and continue to play a leading role in the world, manufacturing companies must find a new source of competitiveness. This leads to a need to formulate a new mission to address in the engineering research area. From this background, gserviceh attracts strong attention from many industries and research fields.
In the past, engineering activities focused on the function of artifacts. For example, a common thought is that the purpose of studying materials strength is to raise the strength function of materials in order to decrease cost (weight saving). In the future, new engineering is needed to change the current viewpoint of artifacts as mere "things" to artifacts as gdevicesh to provide services. Service engineering is an "engineering technique" that yields increased value and satisfaction by providing services, leads to cost reduction, and is useful not only for service industries but also for manufacturing industries.
In todays society, as suspension of superfluous production of artifacts is being required mainly from an environmental side, a means to economically compensate the decrease in production volume is also needed. This means increasing not only the value of artifacts as "things" but also the added value based on service and overall knowledge of the entire life cycle. Therefore, service engineering aims at a basic understanding of services and the provision of specific engineering methods to design, produce, and develop services.
The following points briefly introduce some of the methods developed in our laboratory. They are arranged by the three phases of service design: value analysis, embodiment, and evaluation.
In our laboratory, two research groups currently drive service engineering researches. The first group is the design support group. This group aims at the development of a design support system that has intelligence. Members of this group study the design and intellectual processes of service designers, design knowledge management for supporting service designers, generate ideas for creating innovative services and also develop new design education tools. The second group is the evaluation group. This group aims at the realization of high reliability services. Members of this group develop methods to analyze service failure and behavior and improve simulation techniques regarding characteristic features of a service.
|LAST UPDATED: 2013/8/29||(C) 2005-2013 SHIMOMURA LABORATORY|