About the research group

The research group (in Dutch ‘Lectoraat) Business Services Innovation of the Fontys International Business School (FIBS), focuses on the increasing importance of servitization in business, and its relation to the growth and development of companies. Servitization enables companies to address the specific needs of customers in a B2B setting. Companies that deliver products (e.g., in manufacturing or agriculture), can servitize their business in order to offer new, and unique value propositions to their customers. But also companies already operating in a services-oriented industry, can expand their service portfolio and innovate. Creating added value for your customers through servitization often results in business model innovation. It influences the relationship with the customers and creates new revenue models for companies. New online- and offline services require modified processes, specific knowledge and expertise, new partners and different suppliers. The research group aims to provide practice-oriented knowledge and expertise, in order to design, implement and deliver services for a new era of Business. FIBS integrates this knowledge and expertise in its educational programs and can, therefore, act as an important partner for SME’e in the region.
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  • Members of the Research group

    Sonja Floto-Stammen

    My passion is food and everything related to it: Food Trends – Food Business Models – Food-Value-Chains – Food Policy – Agrobusiness and Processing. After more than 20 years of freelance experience in all kinds of food marketing projects for companies and the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, for the past eight years I have been teaching all food related subjects especially those in consumer behaviour, trend research, Food film Project, Fresh Business Knowledge.

    My new field of interest is quality management and sustainability where I´m involved in some research projects.

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    Els van de Kar

    My research interests include service design, mobile service systems and organizing innovation by value networks. In my working life I am active in the domain of Service Design and Innovation as researcher, lecturer, consultant, project manager and entrepreneur. I have more than 25 years working experience in industry at the Dutch telecommunication operator KPN Telecom (8 years), as independent consultant (14 years) and as owner and managing director of a SME (10 years). This SME is the Rotterdam based company EventsIT, a company that provides services and solutions based on ICT for the event market.

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    Leon Weijs

    Since 1988, I am active in the broad world of ‘green, fresh & food’ in the Venlo region. Owning commercial positions with different internationally operating companies and organisations in the fresh food trade, I was able to build relations with many companies in the fresh supply chains. I  joined the University of Applied Science Zuyd Hogeschool in 2000 and lectured at the study course ‘Food & Business’. From 2007 onwards, I am active with Fontys and dedicated to develop the competences and passion of young people for the attractive perspectives of the agrofood sectors in general and the challenges and ambitions of the region in particular. I can use the following expertise’s in this work: Regional Business Development & Business Relation, AgriFood business, AgriFood Chains, Project Management.

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    Jean Louis Steevensz

    Jean Louis is an experienced professional, with a proven track record in international, technical oriented B2B environments. He attained his PhD by performing a practical oriented study of understanding what is needed to consider a customer more important in our daily work. Several times in his career he was involved in servitization, mainly while defining and implementing a change strategy: from component supplier to service differentiation. Other relevant experiences are defining and implementing sales- & marketing strategies aimed at sustainable growth (co-creation); his experience with long and complex sales cycles in technical oriented organizations as well as conducting (practical oriented) research. Furthermore Jean Louis is capable of tackling large challenges and continue until a satisfying result has been achieved. He has a tenacious attitude as well as drive and energy to establish good working relationships with other departments as well as with customers.

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    Etienne Engelhart

    Where businesses change, legal liabilities change. In setting up a business or redefining business goals, possible legal implications have to be considered. Taking decisions without understanding these implications can have serious financial consequences in the future. In business life you have to invest and innovate before the cash register sings but a lot of times businesses economize on solid legal advice forgetting that to prevent is better, and in the end much cheaper, than to cure.

    My focus is on the legal aspects of business service innovation originating from business developing new services and this way entering into unknown territory or governments changing and implementing new regulations based upon new developments in society.

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    Lisa Bakir

    As a PhD student, I conduct research into successful servitization strategies for SME’s in the manufacturing industry. My research focuses on the dyadic relationship between provider-customer, specifically on the engagement of customers in the co-production of integrated product and service combinations. Hereby, my research attempts to better grasp the customer contingencies on which successful servitization occurs. Namely, what are customers’ motives to engage in the co-design or co-development of product-service solutions and how does this impact the business relationship? Driven by my background in marketing, I am always interested in the complexities and dynamics in creating customer value for businesses that actually meet customers’ needs. I value to stand at the intersection of theory and practice to bridge the gap between knowledge and business. The challenges for businesses, especially in the traditional manufacturing industry, lie in changing their perspective on value creation towards utilization and the customer perspective and implementing this logic throughout their whole business.

    Field of expertise: Servitization, Service Logic, Strategic Marketing, Organizational Processes

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    Xander Stegehuis

    As a PhD candidate, I am currently conducting research in servitization related topics on the ecosystem level. Related questions include the impact of servitization on value networks as well the impact on local economies. Next to that, my research aims to understand ecosystem configuration to facilitate realization of servitization business models. Due to my background in innovation management and entrepreneurship, I am fascinated by system dynamics in innovative environments. Moreover, my practical experience as a business researcher at the Fraunhofer Project Center has led to my interest in manufacturing industries and industry 4.0 related topics.

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    Jacqueline Nieskens

    Jacqueline is the office manager of the Research group.

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