Product Life Cycle vs. Service Life Cycle

Majority of the time-bound projects have an objective in mind, i.e. production of a product. When the delivery of the project is done, the project automatically comes to an end.

What is a Product Life Cycle?

In simple terms, the product life cycle indicates the revenue amount generated by a product over a period of time, right from its inception to its discontinuation. There are five common stages that make up a product cycle. These are

  1. Development/planning
  2. Introduction/initiation
  3. Execution/sales
  4. Maturity/growth
  5. Decline

During the introduction phase, sales are usually small since people are just beginning to try your product. It is the growth phase in which sales start to increase and reach their peak during the growth or maturity stage. Finally, there is a decline in the sale of the product owing to market shifts. The discovery of better alternatives could also lead to the decline of a product.

It is important to understand that these stages in a product lifecycle are usually sequential any may overlap.

What is a Service Life Cycle?

A service organization will have to handle a service life cycle as opposed to a product life cycle. What does the management of a service life cycle entail? It is essentially a strategy which offers support to service organizations, helping them realize their gross revenue potential.

The organization may assess various service opportunities as a ‘life cycle’ rather than an independent event or even a set of solitary events. How is this helpful? It is useful in combining each service-based process into a separate, yet complex series of workflows as well as related business processes.

The service life cycle management typically includes these critical elements:

  1. Administration of workforce
  2. Planning/forecasting of components
  3. Organizational asset management
  4. Knowledge administration
  5. Reverse logistics
  6. Management of repair and returns
  7. Contract management

Service lifecycle management (SLM) software is typically seen as a component of the Product lifecycle management (PLM) software. SLM is helpful in reducing service cost and minimizes preventable return of any faulty products while improving operational efficiency of the service.

What is Common?

While the product life cycle and service life cycle may be managed differently in an organization, they are both determined by the time period for which they can be marketed. For instance, the life cycle of TV CRT (cathode ray tube) has come to an end since a greater number of flat screen TVs are being bought by people today. Similarly, the era of VoIP (voice-over internet protocol) telephone services is now in its growth phase with more and more people showing an inclination to try it out. Hence, the service life cycle of traditional phone lines is slowing coming to an end.

When you have awareness regarding where your service of product is in the life cycle stage, you are better able to determine adjustments or refinements that need to be made so that they are kept aligned with the already developed vision, goals and strategy.

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