The servitization journey: How to communicate and sell new innovative service offerings to B2B customers – Lely



Company Name / Department

Lely International NV

Contact Person

Lely – Oscar Moers

TU/e – Patricia Roost (PhD student)


 Maassluis (working from other locations is possible)

Study programme(s)


Community Servitization
Start Date

September 2023

Housing arranged by company No



Company Description

It is an amazing opportunity at an international innovative company, leader in the agricultural industry. In other words, enough to learn for an intern!

  • Working in an international environment where you can really make an impact with your contribution;
  • You will work at one of the most innovative organizations in the Netherlands;
  • Freedom in organizing your own work;
  • Lots of responsibility;

And the best cappuccinos made by our own barista and fresh milk directly from our farm from one of our colleagues.

Below are some useful links:

Project Description


A sustainable, profitable, and enjoyable future for dairy farmers by combining robotics, engineering, and farming knowledge, that is what we believe in. This is something we have done since 1948 when the brothers Cornelis and Arij van der Lely introduced the finger wheel rake to the market, marking one of our first inventions that made a substantial change in the traditional way of working on the farm.
To keep supporting farmers in the best possible way, we recognize the importance of servitization and of translating product functions to service-based value propositions to offer our customers new opportunities in managing their farm. To this end, we have been exploring how to use more connected machines to improve our maintenance services by moving towards condition-based maintenance so we can guide maintenance based on the actual conditions of our machines.

Even though we are making progress in becoming more service-oriented, this is no easy feat. We are originally a company with a strong engineering mindset, and developments in “farming-as-a-service” are fairly new to our customers. Moreover, although we already offer multiple services to our customers, we are now looking to move to more innovative and complex service offerings.

Project description:

For product-focused companies that would like to transition towards becoming more service-focused, there are many obstacles to overcome. First of all, this transition often requires a change of mindset in which a company with a strong engineering mindset has to become more customer-oriented. Second, with the intangibility of services compared to products it becomes more difficult to convince customers of the value of the services, how to demonstrate value, how to price services, and how to sell them. To help us advance in our journey of offering more advanced services, we are looking for an enthusiastic student who wants to investigate the questions of how to communicate and sell new innovative service offerings to our customers and how to educate customers about these offerings. In this, we want to learn from other successful service providers who have faced these challenges and have found a way to overcome them. This leads to the following research question;

 What can we learn from Original Equipment Manufacturers that are transitioning/have transitioned successfully into service providers about selling and communicating new (field) service offerings to customers?

 To answer this question, we will jointly identify three or four companies that have achieved some maturity in their servitization journey (achieving a certain percentage of sales for services). These companies should be manufacturers who were originally product-focused but are moving towards becoming more service-focused. The research will be divided in two main sub-questions:

  1. How did the firms make their customers aware of the (benefits of) their service offerings and educate them about the value?

2. Which sales approach or form of communication did the firms use when selling services to their customers?



    More information: