Servitization: A Canal Cruise of Birmingham

One of the initiatives I’m fortunate to be responsible for is the Advanced Services Partnership, a community of like-minded executives applying leading practices of advanced services to their manufacturing businesses.

These businesses are shaping the research agenda of the Advanced Services Group, by telling us what the biggest challenges are when adopting advanced services, and informing our research about how to overcome those challenges.

Three times a year, the partners come together for a roundtable at one of their sites to hear our research team’s latest findings, and get some practical hands-on insight into how to implement these in practice in their own company.

This week we’ll be welcoming our partners to our home town of Birmingham. Our host partner is Ishida, a manufacturer of food packaging machinery and equipment whose European headquarters are just a few miles from Aston Business School.

I’m looking forward to a productive two days with the partners. Having them meeting on our doorstep is a rarity for us but it gives us the opportunity to show off Birmingham, which has such an important place in the history of global manufacturing. I particularly hope the partners will enjoy the canal boat tour of the city on Wednesday evening!

Birmingham is a city that’s seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with the financial services and hospitality industries now thriving here. However, it hasn’t by any means lost sight of the continued importance its industrial heritage, as any tour of the city will show.

I think executives in manufacturing businesses considering servitization can learn a lesson from Birmingham. There are many services-only companies out there, and competing with them on services can be daunting, but remember many of them have much less know-how about manufacturing or technology innovation than you. Manufacturers are uniquely placed to exploit their design and production-based competencies to provide a full package of product and advanced services that deliver game-changing outcomes for customers.

The Advanced Services Partnership is still open to new members by the way, and we have an induction programme on 7th and 8th June. If you’re interested in finding out more about this community, have a look at the webpage or send me a message.

Image first posted by Visit Birmingham

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