Product related services
For industrial companies the physical product is usually the core offering. Natural path to expand business is to offer product related services. Usually this means services along the lifecycle of the product:
- services to acquire the product (solution consultation, funding),
- to support the use of the product (maintenance, operation) or
- to dispose of the product (recycling, rebuild)
All of the above service operations are existing and are carried out somehow today either by third parties or the customer itself. Industrial service viewpoint emphasises the market possibility for the product provider to include these services to it’s offering. The general value proposition is to make the purchase, use and disposal of the product easier, efficient and less risky for the customer.
Services to acquire the product
The aim of the services to acquire the product is to make the purchase of the product easier for the customer. Here we distinguish two basic services: solution consultation and funding.
Solution consultation aims at helping the customer to make desicions about which kind of product (or product-service) solution to acquire. For service provider this is a viable sales method and possibility to ”get under the skin” of the customer.
Funding the purchase is quite generic and widespread service used in industrial business. Often the funding is provided by agreements with a financing corporation, not by the product provider itself.
Services to support the use of the product
There are several levels of support operations to the use of the product. Here we distinguish two general areas in industrial context: maintenance and operation.
Maintenance services can include operations from spare parts services to long term service agreements. Customer remains responsible of the use of the product
Operation services include the total operation of the product and related processes by the service provider. Customer just receives the outcome of the process of which the service provider takes full responsibility.
Services supporting machine vs. machine operator?
Services to support the disposal of the product
Environmental aspects are getting more attention and in several areas regulatory rules provide a ground for service business opportunities. Two general areas are (1) recycling the used product environmentally to waste or other uses, or (2) rebuilding the product for it’s original purpose.
Services to access product operation knowledge
Services related to the use of the product are usually produced in close cooperation with the customer. This provides means to get information about customer’s processes and the use of service provider’s products. This information may be valuable source for the service provider’s product and competence development.