Servitization key to boosting competitiveness 

ESCF organized a Servitization workshop in mid-January. Adriaan Van Horenbeek, Manufacturing Lead Customer Advisory Western Europe at SAS, spoke about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) and how to get the most out of data as a manufacturing company in terms of servitization. With an analytics platform developed in-house SAS helps customers quickly create added value. The potential of servitization is huge, Van Horenbeek stated: ‘Adding services to a product is a key strategy to get closer to the customer, extend the life cycle of products and improve financial margins. Research shows that 77 percent of senior management see improving services as a decisive factor for their competitiveness. Data and data analytics play a key role in this.’

Van Horenbeek then showed his audience the equation: value = data + insight + action. In other words, as a company you strive for value creation and you achieve this by collecting data, distilling new insights and taking action on them. This is mainly data from machines, where 5G can give a huge boost to the real-time collection of this data and thus also accelerate the development of a servitization business model. He then outlined a roadmap, in which companies grow through diagnostic analytics to predictive and even prescriptive analytics: i.e. how best to optimise processes. The greatest value is achieved by having engineers and data scientists work together on this.

Opportunities and obstacles
After a number of practical examples of companies that use advanced analytics to expand their servitization component, the participants discussed the possibilities and obstacles. According to Gijs Oude Elberink of Lumicks, where over 90 percent of the installed base has a service contract, the first step is to be clear on what you need to measure in order to be reliable. ‘The smarter we can serve customers, the better. For that, we need to become stronger in monitoring and dashboarding.’ Wim Bus from ASML concurred: ‘To derive value from servitization you have to find out where the benefits are for the customer and for the company itself.’

Demonstrating value
Leon Hol of AAE saw a problem in that customers are not always willing to share online data. Whether this is due to the ‘open’ network connection or actual sharing of online data needs further investigation. Bus responded: ‘Use offline data to build a model and show the value it delivers.’ Evert Rietdijk of Nedschroef Herentals endorsed this: ‘With good examples you can prove that customers can save money.’  Kati Brock of DAF struggled with a different question. ‘We do have the data, but how do you take the next step towards servitization? For example, the definition of uptime differs from customer to customer, leading to different value propositions. In addition, uptime is most important for some customers and fuel efficiency for others.’  Jacco Nieuwdorp of SAS commented: ‘Then you will need different algorithms.’  Hamed Hakimian of Avrogan recommended starting with concrete services: ‘Start with something you can measure.’

Article source: Link Magazine