UK’s 1st Servitization Conference – a compelling reason to change!

by NIck Frank on May 30, 2013

AstonFor those of you that read this blog, you will know that I have always been a great optimist on the value that Services can bring to British industry (see  ‘Is the penny finally dropping for UK manufacturers’). Well another optimist Tim Baines last week ran the 1st Servitisation Conference at Aston University last week.

At the conference real people talked about their experiences in developing Services within industrial companies.

We heard the story about how Hoyer literally grabbed their key Truck supplier  MAN UK in as a last desperate act to get them to work as a partner, and how 5 years both companies have emerged as winners. Hoyer no longer worry about managing Truck maintenance, and can focus on the key drivers of their logistics business. MAN are in a log term profitable business relationship where they can focus on growth.

Driven by bank’s financing the privatisation of the UK rail network, Alstom have developed their maintenance services business charging their customers by the rail kilometre. Their franchise partners demanded that having invested so heavily in new rolling stock that the best people to maintain the asset was in fact the OEM. So close and trustful is their current relationship with the Virgin rail franchise, that they are allowed to share their logo on the rolling stock.

Xerox talked about their journey from photocopier manufacture to a provider of Document Management service. Indeed so profound has this journey been, as the company battled for survival (see ‘Xerox; Services to survive – a long hard road’), that they have worked with Aston University on a white paper titled: Servitization impact study: How UK based manufacturing organisations are transforming themselves to compete through advanced services. (see to download a copy)

This paper which was launched at the conference aims to raise the awareness of the opportunity that UK industry has to grow through developing its services business.

But the one thought that I walked away with, was that all these businesses had a compelling reason to start along the services route, whether that be from their customer’s demanding a change in the relationship or the stark reality of ‘survive/grow or die’. ­­

Nick at AstonIt’s a question I heard from many at the conference, ‘Where do I start?’ For leaders, the art of transformation is to find this compelling rational, even if it ‘s self made,  that appeals to & inspires its people. More and more I believe that this is the key that unlocks change and allows leaders to harness the energy of their organisations to transform.­­


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