Unless you’ve spent the last few years in an underground bunker, there’s very little chance you won’t have heard about servitization.
Coined way back in the 1960s, the term has come back to the fore.
As manufacturers and service-based businesses struggle to stand out from their competitors in an increasingly commodified market, customers are clamouring for an increasingly personalised service.
Servitization answers on both counts.
What is servitization?
There are plenty of definitions out there, but we like this one, by Dr Howard Lightfoot from the Operations Excellence Institute at Cranfield University:
“In recent years, more and more manufacturers are competing through a portfolio of integrated products and services.
“This is a conscious and explicit strategy for manufacturers, with the provision of product-centric services providing a main differentiating factor in the marketplace.
“And it’s this which has become known as the servitization of manufacturing.”
Lightfoot outlines three key performance areas for successful servitization:
- Customer intimacy: Combining in-depth customer knowledge and operational flexibility to create the most effective solution for customers.
- Operational excellence: Controlling processes to effectively deliver best results to customers in terms of cost, convenience, speed and quality of service.
- Product leadership: Selling or supplying the best product, or integrated suite of products, on the market.
Edmo: product vs service
This is one of those times when it’d be far more graceful to avoid the words “We told you so” but we totally did. Our business model has been centred on servitization since the word go.
It’s possible to take a product-centric view of what Edmo does.
Put simply, we supply our clients with fabricated and finished extruded aluminium profiles and components.
There’s nothing unique about our products. Sure, they’re as good as you’ll get, but if our only angle was “our stuff is good”, we’d have gone out of business a long time ago.
Our value isn’t just in what we supply – it’s in how we supply it.
Why we chose service…
There are a number of reasons we chose to go down the servitization route:
It sets us apart
As outlined above, our high quality extruded aluminium components weren’t enough to set us apart from our competitors. Our service-based business gives customers what they want: clever, stress-free solutions to their problems.
According to this recent study, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator by 2020. So we’re clearly on to something.
It’s who we are
Naff but true. We’ve been on the scene a while, and we know that being useful to our customers wins their loyalty.
Besides which, most of us are engineers – when we see problems and areas for improvement in our customers’ businesses, we actually want to help. Go figure.
It makes financial sense
Few points here. Firstly, studies shows that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, so it makes sense for us to focus on service quality and integration.
Second: we make our customers’ lives easier and their businesses more efficient so they buy from us, not our competitors.
Third and final point: we expand our services in line with our customer requirements. We servitize in a responsive way, becoming indispensable to our existing customers.
Want to read more about servitization? Part 2 will be available to read soon. Contact us in the meantime to find out more.