Document Type



Services have been investigated from a diverse range of approaches. Services encapsulate over 65% of global business, yet there are many gaps in the services knowledge base – particularly from an operations management perspective. This research investigates an emerging and truly disruptive business scenario – the service value-chain, from both a marketing and an operations approach. The service value-chain is defined as the flexible, dynamic, delivery of a service, or product, by a business’s coordinated value chains (supply chains and demand chains working in harmony), such that a value-adding, specific, service solution is effectively, and efficiently, delivered to the individual customer.

The ‘virtual service value-chain customer –business encounter model’ is developed. Impediments to the development of a service value-chain are investigated to delineate future areas of business research. The virtual, information aspect of the services value chain customer ‘touch-point’ across the web interface offers a raft of new research possibilities and possible new pathways to competitive advantage. Eight key areas related to websites are offered as investigation areas. Business response mechanisms to the customer ‘touch-point’ must be focus on the competitive mix of strategic features.