The Advanced Services Group (ASG) is the world’s primary research centre focused exclusively on the adoption of servitization and outcome-based business models. Founded in 2011 at Aston Business School, its mission is to transform global manufacturers and technology innovators by developing models and frameworks that enable them to innovate and implement services-led strategies.
The cross-disciplinary centre is led by Professor Tim Baines, Dr Ali Z. Bigdeli, Dr Andreas Schroeder and Dr Ahmad Beltagui who collaborate with co-authors from across the globe to publish groundbreaking and industrially relevant research. The centre draws together some 30 academic and professional staff who are supported through a portfolio of funding from industry, the EPSRC, ESRC, BBSRC and Innovate UK.
ASG regularly engages in collaborative research with large international businesses and a broad portfolio of small and medium-sized enterprises. It is the founder of the Spring Servitization Conference, the world’s largest academic conference dedicated to the research on service-led business models, which attracts leading scholars and industrialists from Europe, North and South America, Japan, China, India and Australia.
Our overarching research agenda addresses the following areas of enquiry:
- Definition, components and leading examples of advanced services
- Economics, business impact and contextual conditions of advanced services
- Business organization for delivery of advanced services
- Enablers, technology and innovation of advanced services
- Legal, contractual, financial and regulatory considerations for advanced services.
For more information regarding the work of the Advanced Services Group, click the link: The Advanced Services Group - The Advanced Services Group
- Research projects
July 2022 - Jun 2025
Understanding how servitization can impact UK economic productivity and environmental performance
Total value: £1,849,277
This programme will establish evidence on how servitization impacts both economic productivity and environmental performance (i.e., net-zero and the green economy), and use these insights to influence industrial policy and practice in the UK. It will explain whether, when, and how to encourage the adoption of servitization to maximise the economic and societal impact. The programme will begin by (i) developing a strong theoretical foundation based on prior research on business model innovation and value networks, then (ii) engage in theory building through collaborations with a range of industrial partners that are adopting servitization. These insights will (iii) enable econometric models to quantify impacts on productivity and environmental performances, and through experimentations with these (iv) identify a range of scenarios to maximise the benefits to the UK. Visit project website: www.servitization.ac.uk
Aug 2020 - Jun 2022
Digital Servitization Demonstrator
From Sensor to Service to Business Success
Total value: £1,692,640
An InnovateUK grant to develop a Digital Servitization Demonstrator around Baxi Heating to help them deliver ‘Heat as a Service’. The Demonstrator will combine advanced services and digital servitization technologies, including sensors, software and other technologies to create a digital model of Baxi's manufacturing and service business. The digital model will be converted to a neutral digital platform with the potential to be used as a wider, all-industry adaptable Servitization model. The model is envisaged to enable a range of manufacturers to use digital technologies to manage contracts, supply chains, customer contacts and all aspects of their business.
Apr 2019 - Sep 2021
Next Generation Rice Processing
Total value: £2,067,000
An InnovateUK project that focused on (i) a "Smart rice milling Chamber" with novel, thermo-detection and vibration technologies to control & maintain an optimum milling environment and increased head rice yield by 10%; (ii) an AI driven digital software platform to interpret data analytics in the Smart Chamber to inform real time intuitive process decisions - i.e. temperature control, milling plate adjustments, husk separation & process speed ; (iii) A business strategy to include: an optimum business model for China, technology dissemination to the Chinese milling industry; a skill/training model; and UK/global academic dissemination plan.
Oct 2018 - Dec 2022
Digitally Enhanced Advanced Services
From sensor to service
Total value: £1,116,751
This £1.1m EPSRC-funded NetworkPlus is bringing together a vibrant community that will position the UK as the internationally leading research hub for Digitally Enhanced Advanced Services (DEAS). Rather than focus on the product or service that is delivered, DEAS focus on how the product or service is used. This is a major change in how firms earn money and is being enabled by transformative digital technologies that allows for example, payment per use or availability or outcome. The impact of these changes can be seen in firm productivity. The traditional focus of productivity (outputs/inputs) is on internal efficiency. However, digital technologies can also transform the value of the output (payment for use, availability or outcome). The project's vision is that the UK should be the internationally leading research and practice hub for the innovation of DEAS. To support this ambition the EPSRC award will be used to create a network of businesses and researchers to enable a coordinated programme of research to be designed and piloted. Over £600k of this funding will be cascaded to researchers across the communities of business, computer science and human factors, to stimulate their engagement in these pilots.
Jan 2018 - Jan 2021
Pathways towards Servitization
A trans-national study of Organisational Transformation towards Servitization
Total value: £205,262
An ESRC funded project with the primary aim of developing organisational transformation pathways that manufacturers can follow to efficiently and effectively innovate their organisations through servitization, and compete through advanced services. The following research questions were addressed: (i) What stages might an organisation expect to go through as it progresses towards servitization? (ii) What are the principal factors and forces that affect progression through these stages? (iii) How do these stages and forces interplay as a model to demonstrate pathways towards servitization?
Feb 2013 - Jan 2018
Transforming the adoption of Product-Service Systems through innovations in applied gaming technology
Development of Applied Game Technologies to Transform the Servitization of Mainstream Manufacturing
Total value: £1,522,601
An EPSRC funded project in partnership with the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) of Sheffield University. The project focused on developing applied game technologies to transform the servitization of mainstream manufacturing companies.
- Conference and Symposium
The Spring Servitization Conference
The Spring Servitization Conference (#SSC2023) is dedicated to understanding how organisations can develop and adapt their business models through servitization and advances services. The theme will be the Role of Servitization in Grand Challenges and will be held on 8th & 9th May 2023 in Helsinki, Finland. Once again, the conference will bring together the world’s leading researchers, practitioners and doctoral students to debate and engage with the theory and practice of servitization.
The Servitization Doctoral Symposium
12 & 13 September 2023 | Aston Business School | Birmingham | UK
The Servitization Doctoral Symposium is an annual two-day event for those doctoral students whose research focus specifically on the topics related to servitization (including Product-Service System, services-centric business models, and services dominant logic). The main objectives of the Symposium are to (i) develop a common knowledge base within the community of PhD students in servitization research, (ii) provide a chance for the doctoral students to present and obtain feedback on their research from the leading academics in the field, and (iii) foster the development of a community of early career researchers in the field of servitization which could become a forum for exchanging ideas and building research collaboration.
- Research degrees
The Advanced Services Group is internationally recognised for its interdisciplinary and applied research on the topics relating to advanced services and servitization. We pride ourselves on attracting students from across the globe, who are independent thinkers wanting to pursue their career in academia or professional industry.
As a Doctoral student you will receive thorough training in research methods, as well as outstanding supervision and mentoring. All our academics and researchers are thought leaders on servitization and advanced services, have a wealth of experience in industry and cultivate close relationships with our partner companies. Studying in this environment offers you the opportunity to design and develop research that not only extends our theoretical knowledge, but also addresses real-world challenges.
What we offer:
- Scholarship for exceptional candidates
- Rigorous training in research methods
- Access to industrial companies for data collection
- Extra funding for conference attendance
- Full access to current quantitative and qualitative data from industrial companies
Research areas and topics:
- Servitization, product-service systems (PSS) and advanced services in the industrial context
- Business model design and innovation required to become to an outcome-based provider
- The role of the Internet of Things (IoT) and other technological innovation in the change towards servitization
- The role of big data, AI and data analytics in servitization
- Digital platforms and ecosystems in industrial service innovation
- Customer experience journey and service transformation
If you are interested in any of the above topics, we would like to invite you to apply.
For more details and to discuss your research ideas, please contact:
Dr Ali Z. Bigdeli (email@example.com), Associate Professor (Reader) in Industrial Service Innovation
Current & Past PhDs/DBAs:
Sep 2021 - present: The opportunities of shared information platforms to support third-party based servitization strategies.
Raj Anand Balesar
Jan 2021 - present: Monetisation of advanced services within manufacturing firms.
Sep 2021 - present: Strategy as Practice and Process: A Cognitive Approach Using Design Thinking to Formulate Strategy.
Oct 2017 - 2021: Exploring the servitization journey in the context of SME and technology-focused manufacturing firms in the UK.
Oct 2018: Business model innovation towards becoming an advanced services provider: The case of Baxi Heating Group.
Aug 2016 - 2021: Development of product-service roadmaps: a pathway to servitization.
Patricia Garcia Martin
2016 - 2020: Value in servitization: From dyad to network level.
2016 - 2020: Affordances enabling advanced services: Opportunities from digitalization of products.
2013 - 2017 (International co-supervisory), Università degli studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy.
Dorleta Ibarra Zuluaga
2018 - 2019, Visiting PhD, Mondragon University, Spain.
2018 - 2019, Visiting PhD, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
- Associate members
- Dr Chris Owen, Operations and Information Group, ABS, Aston University
- Dr Mirjam Roeder, EBRI, Aston University
- Dr Shereen Fouad, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Aston University
- Dr Adem Anwar, University of Lancaster
- Core members
- Prof Tim Baines, Professor and Executive Director
- Dr Ali Bigdeli, Associate Professor and Director of Research
- Dr Ahmad Beltagui, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Andreas Schroeder, Associate Professor
- Dr Yang Zhao, Senior Lecturer
- Dr Dan Andrews, Research Fellow
- Dr Raveen Menon, Research Fellow
- Dr Mustabsar Awais, Research Fellow
- Jill Forrest, Servitization Engagement Coordinator
- Iain McKechnie, Director of Strategic Partnerships
- Gill Holmes, Senior Research Manager
- Advisory Board
- Prof Paul Jennings, Chair, former Managing Director of JCB Finance
- Prof Chris White, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)
- Prof Roger Maull, University of Exeter
- Karen Boswell OBE, BDR Thermea
- Stephen Gregson, Rolls Royce
- Jamie Butterworth, Circularity Capital
- Elaine Morrison, Scottish Enterprise
- Nigel Timperley, Delta EENicola Pike, The Productivity Institute
- Amanda Penistone, BEIS
- Visiting Academic Professors
- Prof Mario Rapaccini, University of Florence, Italy
- Visiting Practitioner Professors
- Jim Euchner, former Vice President of Global Innovation at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- Des Evans, retired CEO of MAN Truck and Bus UK
- Mike Hulme, Managing Director at Alstom
- Andrew Harrison, retired Engineering Fellow at Rolls-Royce
- Paul Jennings, retired Managing Director of JCB Finance
- Tom Palmer, retired from Rolls-Royce
- Industrial Fellows
- Ian Machan, ASG Ltd
- Dimitris Karamitsos, Senior Energy Efficiency Business Developer Specialist at BASE
- David Mackerness, Director at Kaer Pte Ltd
- Sandra Benbow, ASG Ltd
- Alec Anderson, Managing Director at Koolmill Systems
- Charlotte Horobin, Region Director at Make UK
- Dr Paul Jackson, Managing Director of UV Light Technology
- Greg Parker, former Senior Director, Product Management and Business Development at Johnson Controls
- Richard Glover, former International Director of Technical Service at Xerox
- Luke Benton, Managing Director at MNB Precision
- Lee Cassidy, CEO, Tactile Technology
- Liz Smith, Managing Director, LG Davis
- Ian Hughes former Director of Services at Tetra Pak
- Katja Dmitrijeva, ASG Ltd
- Dr Kawal Kapoor, ASG Ltd
- Dr Parikshit Naik, ASG Ltd
- Paula Creswell, ASG Ltd
- Kristina Anders, ASG Ltd
- Peter Bruch