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Contracts for Advances Services

By Jürg Meierhofer, ZHAW

In the late afternoon of September 27, 2022, the Expert Group Smart Services gathered at ZHAW in Zürich. We enjoyed a presentation by Shaun West about the topic “Contracts for Advanced Services”.

Shaun West provided hints and tips on how to design and deliver advanced services based on expert know how and best practice. This is relevant for firms who are integrating digital with their traditional product and service offerings.

When selling advanced services, the conceptual and contractual complexities of such contracts are all too often underestimated.  Experience shows that this is especially true when selling into traditional B2B markets. The developing and longer-term nature of advanced services and the need for collaboration between seller and buyer should be reflected in the contract.  For example, the traditional approach of using ‘specification and data sheets within specified operating parameters’ for service contracts will need to be replaced with contractual structures reflecting the dynamic, evolving nature of advanced service contracts.

This creates challenges for both sellers and buyers of advanced services:  traditional mind-sets must be overcome, high-level advanced services outcomes / measures have to be agreed, flexible / adaptable contractual framework should be developed, and collaborative structures are required in the contracts.