Frank Piller, GER

Keynote Title:
From Social Media to Social Product Development: Customer Co-Creation


 RWTH Aachen / M.I.T. Smart customization Group, Germany


Frank T. Piller is a professor of management and director of the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He also is an Executive Faculty Member of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Design Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (BPS, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Group, 2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School (1999-2004).
Frank Piller has been building a worldwide reputation on research about strategies of customer-centric value creation like Mass Customization, Personalization, User Innovation, and Customer Co-Creation to manage heterogeneous customer demands more efficiently. Frequently quoted in media like The New York Times, The Economist, CNN, Handelsblatt, and Wirtschaftswoche, amongst others, Frank Piller is regarded as one of the leading experts in this field. His blog is the premier source of information on mass customization and customer driven value creation.
During his tenure at RWTH Aachen, the RWTH-TIM Group has gained thought leadership on strategies to include information from a firm's periphery in the innovation process (open innovation), managing contingencies at the front end of the innovation process, and creating a culture for innovation.
In 1997, his article in the German edition of the Harvard Business Review and his first book on mass customization (1998) brought this topic on the management agenda in Europe. Numerous research contracts and consulting assignments have transferred his research results into real business impact for the management practice.
He is an acclaimed speaker at management conferences and in Executive Education programs around the world. He has been elected twice “teacher of the year” (2001 and 2006) at TUM Business School and received the "RWTH Teaching Excellence Award" in 2009. From a methodological standpoint, Frank Piller’s research includes conceptual, qualitative theory-building and quantitative theory-testing publications.
Frank Piller graduated summa cum laude with a Ph.D. in Operations Management from the University of Wuerzburg, Germany in 1999. His habilitation (tenure in the German university system) is from TUM Business School. He is a fellow of the German Scholarship Foundation and a founding member of the European Academy of Management. His research is supported by grants from industry and the German Federal Ministry of Research (BMBF), the European Community, and other institutions. Together with Mitchell Tseng, Frank Piller initiated and co-chaired the MCPC conference series, the largest professional event on mass customization & personalization.
As a founding partner of Think Consult and Competivation, two management consulting firms, he helps his clients to serve their customers better by using truly customer-centric strategies. Frank Piller has consulted and delivered executive workshops for more than fifty companies, including many DAX30 and Fortune 500 corporations like including Adidas, Audi, Bank of America, Bertelsmann, BMW, Daimler, Dell, General Electric, Infineon, J&J, Lego, Lectra, Mars/Masterfoods, Nokia, Sears, Siemens, and Unilever. As a member of the board of directors or scientific advisers, he works with a number of innovative technology companies in the area of customer-driven value creation.

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