Servitization and Digital Transformation: Why the two must go hand-in-hand

Manufacturing and Process Engineering Magazine: Dec 2023

With more and more manufacturers looking towards servitization as a way to drive growth and improve customer satisfaction, Keith Tilley – CEO of workflow automation specialist Intoware, explores the important role digital transformation has to play in the transition.

Servitization- it’s the buzzword of the moment, describing the shift towards a more customer-centric way of working, focusing on an all-round service package rather than just a product.

For manufacturers, the servitization model holds many benefits. For example, building services into product sales that include planned or even predictive maintenance allows firms to upsell and therefore increase revenue, as well as improve customer satisfaction by minimising product faults or downtime in the future.

However, having the right systems and processes in place to successfully achieve servitization is key.

Digital thinking

Frontline workers and field service engineers play a pivotal role in any service-focused business model and need to be able to respond quickly to customer needs, as well as be equipped with the right tools and information to identify potential maintenance issues and find a solution.

For this reason, digital transformation and workflow automation has a vital part to play in the success of any manufacturers’ servitization strategy, moving away from the outdated paper-based systems that allow room for error when it comes to following workflows and managing regulatory and compliance requirements.

But where should companies start when it comes to embarking on this journey towards both servitization and digitalisation?

The key is to put the workforce at the heart of the process, as they’re the ones who understand not only how their day-to-day jobs can be made more efficient through the digital transformation of existing systems, but what customers want to see in terms of service provision, too.

This insight – which is all too often missed by companies looking to change how they operate – is vital to the success of both servitization and digitalisation within a business.

Servitization catalyst

Once the right digital systems and processes are in place, the shift towards servitization is made much simpler.

The wealth of data that digital transformation can provide a business with is enormous, allowing manufacturers to identify trends, customer preferences and areas for improvement in order to create a robust servitization strategy.

Once in place, digital automation is what drives the strategy’s on going success, with the ability to streamline and configure workflows to ensure tasks are carried out right and service calls are followed up and delivered consistently.

Engineers can also use digital tools such as our own WorkfloPlus to access information such as equipment manuals, service history and customer data in real-time on a mobile or wearable device, meaning they can make informed decisions on the spotand provide better service to customers.

And, predictive maintenance is made possible by integrating with IoT sensors and predictive analytics tools, meaning engineers can monitor and proactively identify and address issues before they become major problems.

Detailed reporting tools and compliance checklists then ensure the job’s been done properly and the customer is happy with the service from beginning to end – critical to servitization success.

Contact us to discover how WorkfloPlus can help empower servitization across your operations.


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