The Covid-19 pandemic has radically changed how industrial companies operate. Demand for new industrial goods has plummeted and is not expected to recover fully before 2021 ends . Remote operations are part of the new normal. Industrial firms have to ensure that production lines are running smoothly; people and goods are flowing while a substantial part of employees works from home.
Now is the moment to revisit the status quo. The 2008 financial crisis has taught us that innovative firms emerge from the crisis in a position of strength, outperforming their peers as the economy recovered . Many industrial companies, however, are short of products and services that allow them to react swiftly to shifting customer needs. To get there, changes in the portfolio and the organization are inevitable.
Digitalizing services can help industrial firms to stay on top of issues emerging in the crisis, while charting the path to long-term competitiveness. In the short term, smart services ensure business continuity. Consider the case of Swiss manufacturers unable to ship ordered machines because customers’ staff were unable to travel to Switzerland to conduct on-site acceptance tests . In the same vein, remote trouble-shooting is required when service technicians are unable to assist customers because of contact restrictions. In these cases, digitally-enabled services would allow industrial firms to support customers while securing revenues.
Smart services help industrial firms to improve their competitive position in the long term. Investing in digital capabilities permit manufacturers to grow beyond their existing business. For instance, smart services compatible with third-party assets enable a deeper integration into customer processes. Platform-based services may even go further and tap on previously unavailable revenue sources from new players in the value network.
But where to start? The number of potential smart services to develop is overwhelming. Remote monitoring and assistance, predictive maintenance or Equipment-as-a-Service (XaaS/EaaS) are just the tip of the iceberg of possibilities available. However, not all kinds of services are suitable for each application, industry or market. Our research on real-life implementations of smart services is full of cases where initiatives failed because solutions were developed for problems that did not really exist.
Our all-new Smart Service Booster was designed to lift industrial companies’ service business to new heights. The market-oriented St.Gallen approach ticks all the boxes: it ensures strategic alignment, consistence with customer needs and financial potential of a new smart service. Within just five months, we assist industrial firms in getting their smart service ideas cleared for take-off. To find out how the Competence Center for Smart Services can help in repositioning your company as digital leader, do get in touch with us now.