Sustainability, as a concept, is rapidly becoming a priority in society, affecting how business and industry operate. When companies work together to achieve economies of scale by pooling resources, operation becomes more streamlined and costs diminish. Against this backdrop, the EU-funded COOPSS (Cooperation in Service Systems and Service Supply Chains) looked at how to allocate expected costs and benefits in order to motivate companies to collaborate. To address the cost allocation question, the project studied cooperative games of service systems and service supply. It worked on elaborating a mathematical framework and relevant theory to characterise the cooperative games under study. In more technical terms, the project team investigated the cores of multi-attribute games and developed a stochastic framework to examine cooperation in stochastic systems, in particular queueing systems. It also studied the cores of the spare parts games. With respect to the latter, the project team closely studied collaboration among a group of companies that pool their spare parts to maintain costly equipment. It then examined three cooperation scenarios: inventory pooling, under optimal inventory investment, and under service level constraint. The project’s findings give rise to new, in-depth knowledge regarding the theory of cooperative games. They offer support to researchers who are studying cost allocation challenges in advanced collaborative service systems, in addition to offering a new strategy regarding spare parts systems and related collaboration. The proposed cooperative scenarios support stakeholders in establishing a spare parts collaboration scheme and sharing the costs, highlighting the most economically viable approach. This is slated to eventually support cooperation scenarios for other service systems, creating economies of scale and a more competitive European industry that stands to become more sustainable than ever.
Service systems, service supply chains, COOPSS, cooperative games, spare parts