Servitization Skills Development

It’s already nearly a month since we ran the Advanced Services Group’s first Skills for Servitization course, in early February. I’ve finally managed to get a few minutes to reflect on the course, the companies I met and what we all learnt from the day.

The course aims to help individuals (whether working in a manufacturing business or not) to build their professional skills by learning about the latest research in advanced services and then applying that knowledge, with tools that we have designed, in real-life scenarios.

Participants came from around Europe and represented industries such as building facilities, distribution centre integration and waste management. In the morning I was joined by Professor Tim Baines to explain our research, including our latest value network thinking, liberally sprinkled with examples from a wide range of industries in both Europe and the USA.

In the second half of the day, we used our nine-component business model to explore how customer value propositions, based on services-based logic, can lead to a potentially dramatic change in business growth. The services-based logic approach differs from a traditional manufacturer’s way of thinking by focusing on the solution or outcome delivered to the customer instead of just a product. This change in thinking needs to extend back through to new product (or better termed new package) development.

The participants worked together as a team to tackle real-life business challenges from industries such as office equipment, transport and hotel facilities, coming up with ways to challenge existing competitive strategies in each of these industries.

Through using these case studies and actual business challenges, everyone learnt how we could change remarkably traditional manufacturing businesses into services-based innovators. All the participants left feeling confident to use the tools presented when they got back at work, to create a servitized business model

We had some great feedback from the course, which of course is always pleasing, especially when it is the first time something has been run. So much so, in fact, that one of the participants has already signed up two of her colleagues for the next course, on 9th May.