Dr. Ferran Vendrell (Birmingham Business School) was involved in the organisation of the third International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) that took place in Bilbao, Spain on 13 - 14 November 2014. 

Manufacturing firms have been increasingly providing service in addition to their traditional product offerings, seeking to create greater value selling complete solutions. This process has been named servitization, where companies servitize due to strategic rationale, financial motivation, and market benefit going downstream in their (global) supply chain to capture value. Traditional manufacturing firms face a major managerial challenge since the introduction of service requires different management principles. For these companies, superior performance was based on the search for sources of maintaining competitive advantage in relation to international competitors with lower costs of production.

ICBS lecture

Dr. Ferran Vendrell has been a promoter and scientific director of the ICSB Conference since its inception in 2012. The first edition of the conference was in Barcelona and mostly Spanish based. In the second edition, held in Granada, the contributors doubled and were critically representative of an international audience. The third edition in Bilbao was a success with delegates coming from all over Europe (especially Sweden, Finland, Belgium and UK). This Bilbao Conference was partly supported by the Global Value Chain Research Cluster as part of its international activities. Next year, the ICBS Conference will be in Madrid in Oct-Nov 2015.

The conference led to two special issues in the Competitiveness Review and one in Industrial Marketing Management.  Dr. Ferran Vendrell and Jamie Wilson from Orkesta are editing a special issue on the Competitiveness Review. Ferran submitted a paper presented in the Global Research Cluster seminar on the 23 October 2014, on “Firm power in Servitized supply chains”.

Professor Tim Baines (Aston Business School) was invited as key note speaker. He is one of the most cited authors on the topic, who has recently launched the Aston Centre for Servitization Research. He organises the Spring Servitization conference. These two conferences are the only two in Europe devoted entirely to this specific topic.

We believe that this cooperation between Dr Vendrell in the GVC Cluster and Prof Tim Baines at the Aston Centre for Servitization Research is a unique opportunity to shape a new debate on the impact of services and servitization on manufacturing firms and sectors

  • Learn more by visiting the International Conference on Business Servitization website.