Introduction to Service Innovation Processes
Service innovation has become one of the most prominent ways to ensure the future competitiveness of the market. It increases the level of differentiation and helps to overcome the hurdles connected to oversaturation of the market. Despite the inarguable value of services, companies typically spend more resources for the product R&D. Successful service innovation requires more resources to develop “soft” skills and human resources.
There are several prerequisites, which are essential for a successful implementation of service innovation processes. The innovation process has to be open and involves customer engagement. A system must be in place to manage internal and external knowledge. Moreover, employees must be granted enough time and autonomy to engage in innovative activities. A dedicated team with specific roles within the innovation process increases the rate of a successful introduction of service innovation on the market.
In order to demonstrate various activities in order to develop and successfully implement formalized service innovation processes, three companies from Upper Austria and South Bohemia were selected and are introduced as the best cases to support other SMEs to engage innovation activities.