User-Centered Service Innovation for Commercial Vehicles: Plugging in the Handyman Market

Kate Spierings, Nicole Eikelenberg, Dirk Snelders, Froukje Sleeswijk Visser

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


There is no vehicle segment where personalisation is as common, as for Light Commercial Vehicles. These vehicles are used for a large variety of tasks, supported by an ever-increasing number of new services. For Light Commercial Vehicles, one of the most interesting market segments from the perspective of service innovation and product personalisation is the handymen market. Handymen have a very strong relationship with their vehicle, highly specific mobility needs depending on their specialisation, and spend a lot of time personalising their vehicle.

This paper presents the Plugs concept. The Plugs concept is a new open-source approach to deliver personalised services for Commercial Vehicles to the handyman market. The concept was created based on user research and service innovation done by the TU Delft Design School in collaboration with Ford stakeholders from the Research and Innovation Center in Aachen. To deliver a broad variety of personalised hardware- and software-based services, called Plugs, to small handyman businesses in a cost-efficient way, Ford should build a strong open-source platform strategy around the core Ford Transit product, involving third-party developers and handyman lead users in the creation of these Plugs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCustomization 4.0
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 9th World Mass Customization & Personalization Conference (MCPC 2017)
EditorsS. Hankammer, K. Nielsen, F.T. Piller, G. Schuh, N. Wang
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-77556-2
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-77555-5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventMCPC 2017: The 9th World Mass Customization & Personalization Conference - Aachen, Germany
Duration: 20 Nov 201721 Nov 2017
Conference number: 9th

Publication series

NameSpringer Proceedings in Business and Economics
ISSN (Print)2198-7246
ISSN (Electronic)2198-7254


ConferenceMCPC 2017


  • Service innovation
  • Light Commercial Vehicles
  • Handymen
  • Mass customisation
  • Open-source
  • Platform strategy
  • Plugs concept


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