How to make and sustain the shift to services?
More than ever customers, particularly industrial customers, are prepared to contract capabilities and outcomes and engage in longer relationships with providers. Customers buy outcomes that they value – fit their particular needs. Therefore the ability to sell services is becoming increasingly important for organizations in assessing their future competitive strategies to succeed in the market.
The shift to services, selling outcomes and solutions, rather than products, is extremely challenging. It requires new ways of working, communicating, interacting, planning and delivering continuous and progressive value to customers. The shift to services occurs across many business sectors and has implications across all organizational functions.
Despite nearly a quarter of a century of research into servitization, companies continue to struggle to clearly define and effectively execute strategies to shift to services and realize the full benefits from servitization. The objective of this project is to help organisations to understand the service practices on how to make and sustain the shift to services and develop a strategic framework for shifting to services.
The overarching research question is 'How to make and sustain the shift to services?' The underpinning research questions are:
- Why organizations are making the shift to services? i.e. the strategic rationale behind the service adoption.
- What do organizations actually mean by services? and What service offerings do they provide?
- How is the service journey – the strategic and tactical steps?
- What tools and techiques support organisations in making the shift to services?
The project has produced outputs including the service strategy model, the critical success factors in the shift to services and other individual tools to assist organisations in the development, management and commercial execution of their services.
The outputs and findings of this study are inspiring interesting discussions among the partners’ service field teams, generating new innovative ideas to test and implement services in practice. The project’s outputs are continually disseminated through presentations of preliminary results to industrial partners during weekly meetings, community of interest meetings, webinars and service field teams meetings.
The making and sustaining the shift to service research has captured the attention of practitioners and academics. This project’s progress includes a pilot study on how organisations make the shift to services, where president and vice-presidents were interviewed.
The project has developed better understanding on the service journey experience, the model to drive service strategy, the factors that drive success in the shift to services, the approach to pilot services among others.
Results from this project will be presented in the 2016 Community of Interest (CoI) meeting in USA.
Making the Shift to Services - Poster from Service Week 2015
Making and Sustaining the Shift to Services - Poster from Service Week 2014
Dr. Veronica Martinez
Senior Research Associate