skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Service Alliance

developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

Studying at Cambridge

 

Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts

last modified Oct 03, 2016 10:50 AM
July paper on 'Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts: Safety Challenges and Means of Prevention' by Chara Makri and Andy Neely

'Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts: safety challenges and means of prevention

Chara Makri and Andy Neely

Increased competition, extended product life-cycles and the large number of suppliers and partners involved in services are only some of the challenges that product manufacturers moving into service provision are facing. The increased complexity of service networks can impact safety and increase risks, especially for manufacturers operating in safety-critical environments. In this paper we explore how complex service networks can affect safety by using data from 23 exploratory interviews with experts within the field. We find that even ‘expert’ service providers feel that the complexity of service networks can lead to confusion over accountabilities and impact safety. Even in cases where accountabilities are clearly defined in contracts, a general lack of control, due to the large number of partners involved, can prevent manufacturers from taking the proper actions with devastating consequences.

“Rules and prescriptions simply do not work. It is judgement, knowledge and competence, that is required to decide what is reasonable and what is practicable, you cannot manage health and safety through rules and ticking boxes”, Dame Judith, Health and Safety Executive 

We propose that manufacturers turning into service providers will need to have a clear understanding of three main issues within their service network. These are: a) Duty Holder & Governance – the structures and hierarchies, the legislation under which the partners operate and the procedures that dictate how things are done within the service network; b) Attitudes – individual people and attitudes, organizational incentives and a constant battle between commercial and operations; and c) Competencies – the competency of employees, the training and assessment procedures in place and the technology and systems available. Furthermore, they need to consider that these characteristics can change depending on the wider context in which each partner operates. This depends, not only on the size of the firm, but also on the sector and country in which the partners operate. Managers should therefore have a clear understanding of these characteristics and how these may change, in order to be able to drive the right behaviours within their network and sustain a high level of safety.

[paper]

RSS Feed Latest news

EPSRC Grant: OMMS - Wireless Micro-Factor that will treat people with Cancer

Nov 14, 2017

OMMS: the wireless micro-factory that will treat people with cancer Building Service Business Model Innovation

November Webinar - A System Perspective on Business Model Evolution

Nov 13, 2017

Webinar by Chander Velu on 'A Systems Perspective on Business Model Evolution: The Case of an Agricultural Information Service Provider in India'

Video - What is the Shift to Services Executive Course all about?

Oct 29, 2017

In this video Florian Urmetzer explains the benefits of attending the Alliance's two-day executive programme - Shift to Services

October Paper - Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses

Oct 26, 2017

The October Monthly Paper from the Cambridge Service Alliance, on 'Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses, by Mert Onuralp Gökalp, Kerem Kayabay, Mohamed Zaki, Altan Koçyiğit, P. Erhan Eren, and Andy Neely

Article on Service Week 2017 in London Evening Standard

Oct 26, 2017

Anthony Hilton, of the London Evening Standard, attended our Service Week 2017 Industry Day event, and wrote about one of the keynote speakers, from Alibaba, in a recent article.

View all news

Upcoming events

Ecosystems Strategy One Day Course

Feb 27, 2018

IfM, Cambridge

Shift to Services Executive Education Programme

May 09, 2018

IfM, Cambridge, UK

Upcoming events