This thesis explores the role of Inventory Control in Product Service System (PSS) applications within manufacturing contexts. This research led to a new approach for dealing with inventory control and contributes to understanding of the PSS paradigm in manufacturing industries. PSS embraces the product and service continuum as one system; meanwhile, Inventory Control has led to substantial improvements in performance across many industries. PSS and Inventory Control have for many years been recognized in the scientific literature and by industry as enablers of manufacturing operations. Most studies in the field of PSS and Inventory Control have only focussed on its individual scenarios; little is known about where the boundaries of PSS should lie as it needs to integrate both external and internal elements in managing PSS Inventory Control. To date, very little research has been reported related to inventory control in product-service systems from manufacturing operations perspectives.
Research has been done in three stages: (1) PSS characteristics were synthesised from the literature; (2) current industry example of PSS inventory were investigated through a survey; four case studies were developed; (3) uncertainty elements were identified from the literature related to the current PSS Inventory Control scenario and these were evaluated, developed and validated producing a generic model. The research carried out involved collecting primary data from qualitative research conducted through four case studies with companies in the United Kingdom and Malaysia; and information from secondary sources; utilising techniques such as survey, interview, matrix and modelling language method.
This thesis contributes to the current PSS research by developing a generic model of PSS Inventory Control from manufacturing operations perspectives and a PSS Inventory Control (PSSIC) Framework.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.