Service Standardization

“Service standards enable us to develop from
a service jungle to a service garden.”
Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh
The num ber of service providers is grow ing daily: from the
telecom m unication sector to the health service, how ever, it is
rarely easy for custom ers to select the m ost suitable provider.
W hen choosing a product, by contrast, standardization helps
the custom er m ake the right decision.
The obvious question arises as to w hether it is possible to sub-
ject services to a sim ilar standardization process? The answ er
is not just “yes, it is possible”but “yes, they m ust be standard-
The standardization of services w ill play a principal role in the
further developm ent of a service econom y. Through stan-
dardization, sim ilar services w ith different characteristics and
structures becom e com parable. The standardization of servic-
es also prom otes reliability, effectiveness, trust, and im proved
econom ic ef ciency. M ost im portant, it bene ts the service
receiver (see The G erm an Standardization Strategy, 2004).
Important for businesses
■ The creation of standards in the service sector strength-
ens the innovative and com petitive ability of individual ser-
vice com panies.
■ Standards not only encourage econom ic grow th and com -
petition, they protect the consum er and create conditions
for fair and free trade.
■ Service com panies that im plem ent both com pany-spe-
ci c and sector-speci c standards possess com petitive
advantages. They decrease their transaction costs and
are perceived as businesses that actively prom ote the se-
curity of their custom ers.
Translator‘s note:
The G erm an Standardization Strategy distinguishes be-
tw een “N orm ung”covering the developm ent process of
full-consensus standards (“N orm en”), and “Standardisier-
ung”covering the developm ent process of docum ents w ith
a lim ited consensus by standards bodies (“Standards”). In
the translation, the term s “N orm ung and Standardisierung”
are translated by the English term “standardization”to cov-
er both activities. Consequently, w hen ever “N orm en”and
“Standards”are referred to in the G erm an text, the term
“standardization”is used in the English translation to cover
both. W hen it is necessary to distinguish explicitly betw een
the G erm an term s “N orm ”and “Standard”(e.g. in G oal
5), “N orm ”is rendered by “full-consensus standard”and
“Standard”by the term “speci cation”.
Source: Germ an Standardization Strategy,
Editor: DIN Deutsches Institut für N orm ung e. V.
I. The challenge
Standardization sim pli es everyday life. For exam ple, it is not
necessary to consider w hether an A4 sheet of paper ts into an
A4 envelope. An enorm ous num ber of sim ilar standardizations
not only m ake consum ers’lives easier, they are of vital im por-
tance for com m erce. N ational norm s and recognized industrial
standards facilitate the provision of high quality products by in-
dividual com panies, ensure the com parison and interchange-
ability of goods, and thus increase productivity. These stan-
dards not only contribute to the grow th of national econom ies,
but facilitate regional and global transactions as w ell.
W hereas som e standards have long existed in m any areas of
m anufacturing and have proven decisive for success in these
areas, there is alm ost a com plete lack of norm s w ithin the ser-
vice sector. M any observers of this sector now propose that
standardization is required to im prove the production and ex-
portation of services –just as it does for m aterial goods in G er-
m any and other countries w ith w ell-developed econom ies. The
creation of service standards also w ill have a favorable effect on
the internationalization of the European service sector.
II. Standardization as an opportunity for
service companies
1. Why standardize services?
Service standards are of particular signi cance for G erm any
and m any other countries in Europe because services account
for over 70 percent of their gross dom estic products. Standards
can increase the functionality and pro tability of this dom inant
aspect of the econom y in m any w ays. Standards contribute to
transparency –and therefore com parability –of services. W hen
quality can be evaluated, services can be com pared w ith one
another and evaluated (G aub, 2007). H ow ever, the lim ited
m easurability and the com plicated evaluation of service quality
–both resulting from the im m aterial nature of services –are
therefore starting points for standardization (Schuh, 2007).
Standards perm it greater ef ciency in developm ent and pro-
cessing by individual providers. G row th is achieved w hen qual-
ity services can be reproduced over tim e and in various loca-
tions. Technical know ledge and innovations can be distributed
m ore sw iftly once standards have been put in place. In addition
to increased ef ciency, uniform evaluation standards contribute
to an increase in effectiveness that can prim arily be explained
by the increase in custom er utilization, and an accom panying
increase in price acceptance (Gudergan & H oeck, 2002). This
grow th in ef ciency and effectiveness has a broader econom ic
im pact because it facilitates the developm ent of new m arkets.
For custom ers, standardized services represent clearly struc-
tured offers w ith a low risk in part because they can be com -
Service Standardization
Standardization describes a process of unifi-
cation, especially in terminology, capabilities
of personnel, technology, and organizational
pared (M örschel, 2002). For businesses, standardization
m eans better opportunities for the sw ift and extensive indus-
trial introduction of innovative concepts and/or services (G los,
2007). W ith the choice of the right point of standardization
during the developm ent process, a service can be offered to
interrelated m arkets; standardization therefore encourages
com petitive ability (Schauerte, 2007).
A trend study carried out by the Research Institute for Ratio-
nalization at the Rhenish-W estphalian U niversity for Applied
Sciences (RW TH ) Aachen, in w hich 83 G erm an com panies
w ere surveyed w ithin the investm ent goods industry, cam e to
the conclusion that there w as a signi cant connection betw een
the operation of standards and com m ercial success w ithin the
service sector. It w as established that successful businesses do
not m erely place great signi cance in standardization, but also
utilize these standards on an above-average basis. Com panies
also em phasize that they have further requirem ents concerning
the area of service content and provision processes (H übbers,
Rühm ann & B öm m els, 2007).
Prof. D r. G ünther Schuh, D irector of the Research Institute
for Rationalization (FIR ), also em phasized the signi cance of
standards for the developm ent of innovative services during the
Innovation Forum in Aachen on N ovem ber 21, 2007. In his lec-
ture entitled “Service standards –success in com petition w ith
custom er-oriented solutions,”he underlined that “it is not only
im portant to touch the spirit of the custom er and inspire him
through added value, …com patibility through standardization
prior to the m arket phase is the sim plest w ay of m aking technol-
ogy user-friendly for the custom er.”
2. Central Characteristics of Standardization
W hich characteristics of standardization do the providers of ser-
vices have to take into account to provide an innovative service
for their custom ers, and also convince them about the service’s
reliability and quality? Six central characteristics of standard-
ization have been addressed by H . H oeck and G . G udergan
(2002, pp. 102–116).
Potential for Standardization
In a rst step tow ards standardization, it is im portant to iden-
tify areas w ith a potential for standardization in w hich custom er
dem and also exists.
Gudergan and Hoeck (2002, p. 18) define stan-
dardization as a term for unification. They say
that a “standard is in the broadest sense the
result of unification…of products, processes,
interfaces, etc…which has taken place within a
system (e.g. company, sector, or economic area:
nationally or internationally).” Blum et al. (2001)
and Verman (1973) have a similar point of view.
Together these authors point more specifically
to the importance of standardized terminology,
personnel capabilities, technology, and organi-
zational processes.
Term inology
U nam biguous com m unication betw een a service provider and
a service recipient is only possible through the description of
services using clear term inology. In addition to im m ediate com -
m unication bene ts, standardization of term inology serves as
the basis for the developm ent of additional standards.
Standardization of personnel quali cations facilitates the re-
cruitm ent of appropriate w orkers. This area of standardization
is im portant because custom ers often choose a service pro-
vider prim arily on the basis of personnel and the quality of the
service they deliver.
Technical system s
The standardization of technical system s and their interfaces,
often described as com patibility standards, allow s exchange
am ong actors in a speci c service m arket.
Processes and approaches
The standardization of processes or approaches clearly de nes
how a service is to be provided, w hich m inim izes errors.
Standardized results are achieved through the establishm ent of
quali cation requirem ents and standards that de ne how a ser-
vice is to be provided. The quality of results is further supported
by uniform processes for the evaluation of a service provided.
This encourages transparency for the custom er, and can in turn
be utilized as a referential standard in the developm ent of m ore
innovative services.
III. The forms of service standardization:
company- and sector-specific
Com panies that standardize can have a substantial infl uence
on the services m arket because they are signi cantly involved
in its structuring. Through participation in standardization com -
m ittees, these com panies develop an enorm ous know ledge ad-
vantage and a large head start in further service developm ent.
They becom e fam iliar w ith the standardization activities of their
com petitors, and they becom e fam iliar w ith the political sector
that sponsors standardizations. This know ledge perm its them
to greatly reduce incom patible R & D expenditures and begin
developing standard com patible services before they are of -
cially speci ed by legislation.
In addition to involvem ent in service-speci c standardization,
involvem ent w ith sector-speci c standardization also brings
great advantages to individual service providers. Safety for hu-
m ans and their environm ents that is achieved through com -
pany- and sector-speci c standardization is likely to expand the
m arket (G aub, 2007). Classi ed directories in w hich standard-
ized services and perhaps prices are listed encourage transpar-
ency and provide a better price-perform ance com parison by
the custom er, w hich also tends to increase sales.
Classi cation of services also helps providers com pile their of-
ferings and specify prom ising additions. A uniform form at can
reduce transaction costs for the service provider (Gudergan &
H oeck, 2002). Further advantages of sector-speci c standard-
ization include im proved legal security, the encouragem ent of
continuous process im provem ent, and opportunities for ratio-
nalization. Additionally, redundancies in the developm ent of
services can be reduced (G aub, 2007).
In conclusion, w hen com patibility is created through com pa-
ny- and sector-speci c standards for the trading of services,
discrim ination is reduced (Schauerte, 2007; Schuh, 2007),
m arketability of innovative services is encouraged, and a sub-
stantial contribution to econom ic grow th is often achieved.
Prof. Schuh, are standardization and service a contradiction in
term s?
N o, this is a w idespread prejudice that still haunts people’s
m inds. It originates from the assum ption that either a service
is perfectly tailored to the custom er, or a standardized prod-
uct is offered w hich ignores natural differences in custom er
needs. The area of standardization naturally originated out of
the m aterial goods sector, but is steadily gaining signi cance
w ithin the service sector. This developm ent is also based on
the increasing interdependence of goods and services w ithin
the fram ew ork of hybrid value creation.
W hy do norm s and standardization m ake sense and are they
really necessary?
Standardization aids the com parison of services and service
providers, and additionally provides a basis for the evaluation
of service quality. Furtherm ore, it encourages the ef cient de-
velopm ent and provision of services.
Are new perspectives opened up by the standardization of ser-
The transform ation to a service society is one of the m ost sig-
ni cant trends of our tim e. O ver 70 per cent of overall econom ic
value creation now originates in the service sector. Few busi-
nesses lim it them selves exclusively to the production of m ate-
rial goods, but provide w hat custom ers require, i.e. a com plete
solution to their problem s not just an individual product w ith
several services attached. This is precisely the area w ith great
opportunities: providers have the possibility of entering new
m arkets w ith innovative services in w hich services m ay even
represent the prim ary elem ent of value creation.
W hat challenges do you see within this area?
The challenge is inherent in the confl ict betw een the individu-
ality of a service and its transaction ef ciency. It is im portant to
touch the spirit of custom ers and inspire them through added
value, but a com pany m ust also ensure service com patibility
through standardization prior to the m arket phase that m akes
the service user-friendly. For exam ple, this is achieved in PAS
1018 “Essential structure for the description of services in the
procurem ent stage, a standard developed in cooperation w ith
the D eutsches Institut für N orm ung (the D IN ).”

W hat approach to the standardization of services do you think
is im portant for the future?
It is necessary for both business people and researchers to
detach them selves from the concept that the provision of any
kind of service m ust inevitably be individual to be successful.
In all cases it is vital for the operation of innovative services
to rely on precisely form ulated processes for planning and
developm ent: this is the only path tow ards the ef cient uti-
lization of resources. Standardization plays an ever greater
role in corporate practice. W ithout it, com pany-internal and
cross-com pany transactions w ould be considerably m ore
tim e-consum ing and expensive. In fact, standardization rep-
resents an opportunity to escape from increasing price com -
petition and differentiate oneself through quality, innovation,
and transparency.
Standardization as the Basis of
Innovation with Services
Prof. Dr. Frank Piller, RWTH Aachen, Chair for Technol-
ogy and I nnovation Management, in discussion with Prof.
Dr. Günther Schuh, Director of the Research I nstitute for
Rationalization (FI R)
Prof. Dr. Frank Piller Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh
Presented by Heinz Gaub, member of the management
board for the business area standardization at the I nnova-
tion Forum “Longing for Simplicity” in Aachen on Novem-
ber 21, 2007
The D IN –D eutsches Institut für N orm ung e.V. –is a pri-
vate sector registered society established as early as 1917
in B erlin. It now represents G erm any on a European and in-
ternational level w ithin the area of standards and norm s. D IN
undertakes standardization in the classical sense, w hereby
special regulations are applied to the electro-technical sector.
The D IN is nanced to a sm all extent by the contributions
of its approxim ately 1700 m em bers; 60 per cent of its bud-
get is nanced by pro  ts from w ork results; the rem ainder is
m ade up of project-based contributions from business and
the public sector.
The D IN has carried out a variety of research projects to-
gether w ith cooperation partners that have produced stan-
dards for services. The basic docum ent describing this w ork
is the D IN expert report 116, w hich addresses the challenge
of standardization in the G erm an service industry, and de-
scribes the potential and necessary requirem ents for action.
A variety of PAS (publicly available speci cations) have also
been developed:
■ PAS 1018, w hich elucidates the essential structure for
the description of services in the procurem ent stage
■ PAS 1019, w hich provides a structural m odel and criteria
for the selection and evaluation of investing services
■ PAS 1047, w hich describes a reference m odel for the
provision of industrial services, in particular for trouble-
Initial steps have also been undertaken to further standardize
core processes w ithin the industrial service sector for w hich
corresponding PAS w ill have to be developed. The objective is
to provide reference m odels, technical regulations, and also
standardization of all elem ents of the service sector to enable
transparency in their presentation.
Further activities at D IN include other cooperation proj-
ects. The IS project w ill address the structure, extension,
and im provem ent of international trade. CH ESSS is a Eu-
ropean project that exam ines the utilization and potential
of horizontal service standards. Tw o areas w ere undertaken
by D IN : a) service security and b) speci cation, purchas-
ing provision, and quality of services betw een businesses.
IN S –Innovations w ith N orm s and Standards –is a project
that focuses on services as a principle area of econom ic
grow th. H ere the aim is to exam ine the innovative ability of
sm all- and m edium -sized businesses w ith the aid of ratings
for innovation. Additional reliable regulations concerning the
m onetary evaluation of patents should provide helpful orien-
tation for organizations.
DIN – Deutsches Institut für
Normung e.V. (German Institute
for Standardization)
Practical Example
B usinesses pro  t from standardized services because they
lead to im proved com petitive ability that has a positive infl u-
ence on business success. Custom ers and service recipients
can take advantage of reduced risks, greater transparency,
and the associated higher degree of com parability.
The standardization of services can m ake a signi cant con-
tribution to the strengthening of the G erm an econom y and
other econom ies as w ell. M anufacturing w ould be unthink-
able today w ithout the advantages of standardization. Stan-
dardization facilitates production in m any w ays, and offers
uniform evaluation criteria for suppliers that have a positive
effect on business relationships. Standardization creates
econom ic advantages by facilitating access to m ajor regional
and global m arkets. It also supports the purchasing deci-
sions of custom ers.
This experience has great signi cance for the service sector.
The standardization of services can im prove service produc-
tion. It w ill encourage security and protect health, the envi-
ronm ent, and consum ers. Standards can also enable sw ift
exam ination of the feasibility and practicability of innovative
services. They can exert a positive infl uence on the w illing-
ness to invest on the part of potential nancers. In brief:
standardization helps open the black box of services to show
w hat is concealed behind the service itself.
In addition to the six central characteristics for the standard-
ization of services described above, a prim ary requirem ent
for the successful realization and im plem entation of stan-
dards in the service sector is the sensitization of econom ic
and political decision-m akers to the im portance of standard-
ization. Increased internal com m unication, the acceptance
of standardization as an integral part of a com pany, and the
im plem entation of internal training m easures, are all neces-
sary w ithin the business sector.
O perational technology and innovation m anagem ent in m any
sectors is today unthinkable w ithout standardization. It has
played a large part in political deregulation, the self-adm in-
istration of the econom ic sector, and the reinforcem ent of
legal conform ity (see D ie deutsche N orm ierungsstrategie
[The G erm an Standardization strategy], 2004).
Hot Spots of
Service Standardization
DIN – Deutsches Institut für Normung e.V.
German Institute for Standardization
The D IN –D eutsches Institut
für N orm ung e.V. –is a pri-
vate sector registered soci-
ety in B erlin that represents
G erm any on a European and
international level w ithin the
area of standardization and
norm s. It is only nanced to
a sm all extent by the contri-
butions of its approxim ately
1700 m em bers; 60 per cent
of its budget is nanced by
D IN incom e, in particular from the pro  ts from w ork results.
The rem ainder is m ade up of project-based contributions
from the business and the public sector.
The D IN has carried out a variety of research projects w ith
cooperation partners that have produced standards for ser-
vices. The basis docum ent is the D IN expert report 116,
w hich addresses the challenge of standardization in the G er-
m an service industry and describes the potential and neces-
sities for action. A variety of PAS (publicly available speci ca-
tions) have also been developed: PAS 1018, w hich elucidates
the essential structure for the description of services in the
procurem ent stage; PAS 1019, w hich provides a structural
m odel and criteria for the selection and evaluation of invest-
m ent-related services; PAS 1047, w hich describes a reference
m odel for the provision of industrial services, in particular for
trouble-shooting. Initial steps have also been undertaken for
the standardization of further core processes w ithin the in-
dustrial service sector for w hich corresponding PAS w ill have
to be developed. The objective is to enable transparency by
providing reference m odels, technical regulations, and also
standardizations for all elem ents of the service process.
Further activities at D IN include cooperation projects. The
project IS w ill address the structure, extension, and im prove-
m ent of international trade. The European project CH ESSS
exam ines the utilization and potentials of horizontal service
standards. The project IN S –Innovations w ith Standardiza-
tion –focuses on services as a principle area of econom ic
grow th. H ere the aim is to exam ine the innovative ability of
sm all- and m edium -sized businesses w ith the aid of the in-
novation ratings.
Hot Spots of Service
DIN Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.
Burggrafenstraße 6
D-10787 Berlin
Bissantz & Company GmbH
Data warehouse systems deliver data
standards for businesses
B issantz & Com pany is a G erm an softw are com pany spe-
cializing in solutions for challenging tasks in the area of data
analysis, planning, and reporting. The prize-w inning projects
and technologies offered by the com pany are being further
developed from research and custom er inform ation, and are
actively m arketed w orldw ide under the nam e of the com pany
and as an O EM solution.
B issantz & Com pany offers its custom ers both individually
designed and largely autom ated data w arehousing. In a m an-
ner sim ilar to the de  nition of a CAD m odel, a consultant de-
  nes a com puter-assisted structure for the data w arehouse
w ith the aid of the D eltaM aster M odeler. This is an integrated
softw are suite, inserted as the front-end of a w ide range of
O LAP data banks such as M icrosoft Analysis Services, O r-
acle O LAP, SAP B W , H yperion, M IS Alea, Applix TM 1, and
Panoratio. The resulting m eta-m odel is then utilized for the
autom atic construction of the data bank including the valida-
tion of all structures, and for the transform ation and loading
of all data.
The advantage B issantz provides,
in com parison to other data w are-
house projects, is that data can
be recreated at any tim e w ith
the aid of the m eta-m odel. This
perm its extrem ely short iteration
loops for the extension and im -
provem ent of a data w arehouse.
As a result, the custom er pro  ts
from signi cantly shorter project
duration and an iterative develop-
m ent process. U seful interm edi-
ate results are guaranteed, but in
addition, B issantz provides an ef cient m ethod for the long-
term developm ent and m aintenance of the data w arehouse.
M ore traditional data w arehouse projects necessitate a high
degree of m anual effort, and display an insuf ciently vali-
dated quality of results. This has frequently led to the failure
of projects. B issantz & Com pany has offered its “Industrial-
ized D ata W arehouse Construction and M aintenance”since
2005. The service has enabled the com pany to reduce the
duration of projects by 60 % to 70 % . They also design and
im plem ent com plete business intelligence projects.
Bissantz & Company GmbH
Nordring 98
D-90403 Nürnberg
Hot Spots of Service
Certification of IT providers:
G-NE sets standards
“O nly those w ho are fam iliar w ith their service can boast
about it,”is the m otto of G -N E G m bH , founded by D r.-Ing.
R obert Scholderer and N ico Jäckel M . A. in Karlsruhe. The
com pany has over 10 years of experience w ithin the area of
IT service m anagem ent and provides a full range of services.
Their “Pact Service M anagem ent Suite”ensures pro  table
service level m anagem ent, and they also offer a m odular
portfolio of exible services. Custom ers are able to save sub-
stantially on IT costs because G -N E is oriented tow ard their
business objectives.
In addition to m onitoring and controlling IT perform ance,
G -N E offers its custom ers an independent exam ination of
service level m anagem ent. In cooperation w ith selected part-
ners, such as the South G erm an technical inspection agency,
TÜ V Süddeutschland, the com pany produces certi cation for
IT providers.
Internal and external IT service com panies are subject to in-
creasing pressures; the service provided m ust be transpar-
ently displayed to custom ers w ho w ant to know exactly w hat
they have paid for. Econom ic return is increasingly coupled
w ith the service, and adherences to service agreem ents have
becom e an econom ic necessity. G -N E offers custom ers a
service level agreem ent over the entire life-cycle, including
m onitoring the IT service and applications, and reporting on
the adm inistration of service contracts.
Hot Spots of Service
Haid-und-Neu-Straße 7
D-76131 Karlsruhe
Screenshot of an instrum ent panel
Cost-effective vehicle operation with the
PINCAR vehicle management system
The PIN CAR Suite provides vehicle eet operators w ith a
com prehensive service system for the electronic control and
adm inistration of their vehicle eets. Solutions are also de-
signed for the operation of car pools, car rental and leasing
com panies, and for car sharing. The service is consistently
oriented tow ards increasing ef ciency and optim izing opera-
tions to low er costs. “W e m ake results from data,”is the com -
pany slogan.
PIN CAR revolutionized vehicle m anagem ent about three
years ago. The starting point w as m aking the procedures in
car pools and vehicle eets m ore ef cient. The service spec-
trum now ranges from an electronic log book and route plan-
ner, to the calculation of services. N um erous com bination
possibilities enable the realization of specially tailored con-
cepts for the particular requirem ents of individual users.
The innovative PIN -
CAR Suite is based
on telem atics and the
internet. Its technol-
ogy w as approved by
the Federal O f ce for
M otor Vehicles (KB A),
and can therefore be
integrated in all vehicle
m odels registered in
G erm any. It has now
been patented w orld-
w ide, and is w ell on its
w ay tow ards securing a
com m anding position in the global m arket. The Suite goes
signi cantly further than previous com m ercially available sys-
tem s. This is m ade possible by the utilization of specialized
CAN bus technology that perm its passive access to the on-
board com puter of each individual vehicle to convey exact
data w ithout tim e delay or m edia breaks.
In 2007, the com pany w as aw arded the “Special Prize for In-
novative Services”by the federal state R hineland-Palatinate
for the developm ent of PIN CAR Suite.
B2X care Solutions GmbH
Standardized IT solutions revolutionize
the after-sales process
B 2X Care Solutions offers innovative after-sales solutions for
com panies in the IT, telecom m unication, and entertainm ent
electronics industries. In an alliance w ith a global netw ork of
selected service partners, the com pany optim izes the entire
after-sales process chain from the acceptance of a service,
through all stages of repair, to the ef cient supply of spare
parts. Standardized IT solutions cover all services and are
integrated in a single platform called Care4you:
• Care4call supports the acceptance of a service up to fault
diagnosis and w arranty test
• Care4repair controls the entire repair process, including
• Care4claim logs repair services and processes billing
• Care4logistics m onitors all products, spare parts, and pro-
• Care4supply supplies service partners w ith spare parts,
updates, inform ation, and tools.
B 2X Care Solutions’unique price-
m odel synchronizes expenditure
for services, w arranty term s, and
custom er turnover at all tim es.
The individual processes are fully
autom atic, and thereby offer cli-
ents transparency and fl exibility
at all stages of the process. That
enables custom ers to m anage
their com plete after-sales busi-
ness m ore pro  tably, and guaran-
tees return on service –w ithout
investm ent or reserves.
Alexander W olfrum –
M anaging Director
K.-Theodor Hermann
Donnersbergweg 1
D-67059 Ludwigshafen
B2X care Solutions GmbH
Baierbrunner Straße 35
D-81379 München
Hot Spots of Service
trivago GmbH
trivago creates transparency
for travelers
M any custom ers now m ake hotel arrangem ents online. The
internet allow s them to com pare different offers in order to
discover the m ost com petitive prices. U ntil recently, how ever,
it w as necessary to undertake a laborious search through all
online travel rm s to nd the cheapest offer. trivago has de-
veloped a sim ple and effective solution to this problem . The
com pany brings transparency to the costs jungle w ith a hotel
price com parison system that is unique in G erm any.
The innovative aspect of trivago technology is that the prices
offered by all individual rm s for the sam e hotel are visible
sim ultaneously. The user can see at a glance how m uch can
be saved w ith different com panies. Evaluation of the data of-
fered by trivago show s an average of 32 percent differences
in prices offered by different travel rm s. In fact, it is not un-
com m on for the sam e hotel room to be offered at a price
difference of 100 euros per night.
Even those w ho prefer to book directly at a hotel should rst
consult trivago, since agents frequently offer m ore com peti-
tive prices than the hotels them selves. All m ajor booking por-
tals (e.g., H R S,, Expedia, and m any m ore) and the
larger hotel chains, have already been integrated into trivago.
This price research system currently includes over 260,000
hotels and is utilized as a cost-saving tool by a range of large-
scale com panies as w ell as individuals.
Peter Vinnem eier, M alte Siewert, Rolf Schröm gens –
m anagem ent of the com pany trivago
Hot Spots of Service
trivago GmbH
Ronsdorfer Straße 77
D-40233 Düsseldorf