Usages of the term service system (bold added) are provided below:

The earliest known usage of the phrase service system in a book title is: Stochastic Service Systems. John Riordan. Wiley, New York, 1962. x + 139 pp. Illus. “Anyone seeking an introduction to queueing theory…” Also a Science article was published by John Riordan Science 7 September 1962: Vol. 137. no. 3532, p. 742

Usages from Quinn and Paquette (1990) Technology in Services: Creating Organizational Revolutions. MIT Sloan Management Review. 31(2).

“Properly designed service technology systems allow relatively inexperienced people to perform very sophisticated tasks quickly — vaulting them over normal learning curve delays.”

Examples: “Domino’s Pizza … industrial engineering and food science research automated the making of a pizza to as near a science as possible, eliminating much of the drudgery in such tasks, yet ensuring higher quality and uniformity. Then, finding that its store managers were still spending fifteen to twenty hours per week on paperwork, Domino’s introduced NCR “mini-tower” systems at its stores to handle all of the ordering, payroll, marketing, cash flow, inventory, and work control functions … Federal Express … Its DADS (computer aided delivery) and COSMOS II(automated tracking) systems give FedEx maximum responsiveness.”

Inferred definition: Service systems, also known as service technology systems, are designed to allow inexperienced people to perform very sophisticated service provisioning tasks quickly.

Usages from Cook, Goh, and Chung (1999) Service Typologies: A State of the Art Survey. Production and Operations Management, 8(3).

“Customer contact is one of the primary criteria used to classify service operations and refers to the physical presence of the customers in the service system during the provision of the service… Service systems can be placed on a continuum that ranges from high customer contact to low customer contact during the creation of the service.”

“Capital intensity of the service system also serves as the basis of classification… The capital intensity of the service system ranges from low to high.”

“The level of customer involvement in the creation of a service is also a dimension used to classify services… Customer involvement means the level of interaction the customer has with the service system and the level to which the customer can actually affect the service delivery process.”

“Customer satisfaction is the most basic concept underlying TQM. It is, therefore, of critical importance that the service system and the services it is designed to deliver satisfy the needs and wants of the organization’s customers.”

“Not only does one have to consider the implications on product design and how this affects marketing, but is also may have significant implications for the design of the service system. This illustrates the need to address interactions between the marketing and operations functions and to integrate these functions for the betterment of the firm.”

“The environment in which a service organization operates will be instrumental in determining how the service system, as well as the services themselves, should be designed… Global service organizations must also appreciate and understand local customers, laws, and culture to successfully operate internationally.”

Examples: “Pure services (e.g., health centers and personal services) represent the highest level of customer contact. Progressing down the continuum toward lower custom contact are mixed services (e.g., branch offices of post offices), quasimanufacturing (e.g., home office of banks), and manufacturing (e.g., automobile assembly plants)… …When a client contracts with an architect to design a home, a relationship involving high customer involvement is created. On the other hand, a customer who has purchased an airline ticket has little opportunity for involvement in the service delivery or to impact how the service is going to be provided.”

Inferred definition: Service systems are organizations designed to delivery services that satisfy the needs and wants of the organization’s customers. Marketing, operations, and global environment considerations have significant implications for the design of a service system. Three criteria used to classify service systems include: customer contact, capital intensity, and level of customer involvement.

Usages from Lusch, Vargo, and Malter (2006) Marketing as Service-Exchange: Taking a Leadership Role in Global Marketing Management. Organizational Dynamics, 35(3).

“Stated alternatively, service-dominant logic offers opportunity for the organization to focus on selling a flow of service. This would encourage it to determine the optimal configuration of goods, if any, for a level of service, the optimal organization or network configuration to maintain the service, and the optimal payment mechanism in exchange for providing the service. That is, the organization is encouraged to think about the service system.”

Examples: “For example, if a heating and air conditioning equipment manufacturer views itself in the temperature control business, then it could decide to sell climate control for a building rather than just mechanical devices. It could charge per cubic foot of climate maintained on a monthly or annual basis and/or through a payment plan involving gain sharing, in which costs are reduced as system performance rises, thus benefiting financially both the firm and the customer. A seller entering into such an arrangement has an incentive to look at everything about the building that will influence heating and cooling costs.”

Inferred definition: Service systems are optimal configurations of goods, organizational networks, and payment mechanisms for providing a level of service.