After more than 3 years, since June 1st, 2017, and 1.889.299 € investment, the THINGS+ project is considered “best-practice” of the Interreg Central Europe funded projects. THINGS+ project focused on manufacturing SMEs which want to gain value in customer’s eyes and strengthen their market position. But the goal was not to improve their manufacturing skills and product value but to empower them in entrepreneurial skills, have them re-design their business model through creating service innovations inside of their companies.
In these 3+ years project partners trained more than 220+ entrepreneurs, managers, and business innovation experts. All that in more than 100+ manufacturing SMEs. When looking at results, more than 90+ new service concepts were developed, 30+ new commercialized services and 8 new foreign markets reached as a direct result of the implemented service, designed on the principle of the servitization methodology; a step-by-step method to enrich an existing product with a service, resulting in higher customer loyalty, subscription-based recurring revenue, and market expansion, among other benefits.
Based on the real-life data from the pilot actions, the THINGS+ project partners created Policy Recommendations. Policymakers are highly encouraged to use these recommendations when developing future support for SMEs and BSOs. As a roadmap, it has two parallel tracks. One is Policy recommendations regarding SMEs (increase awareness regarding servitization among SMEs, stimulating research teams, pushing SMEs towards implementation, increase export potential, logistic support for enterprises) and the second is Policy recommendations regarding BSOs (capacity building, creating & developing a network of contacts, creation & monitoring of Regional Operational Programmes). Each one of this field and recommendations stands on mutual experiences of all stakeholders included in the THINGS+ project.