The manufacturing industry is evolving. On one hand, increasing customer expectations push companies out of their comfort zones to consider their offerings in a completely new way, to innovate and invest in new technologies. On the other hand, new technology is not compatible with old business models. So, the change needs to be managed; internally within the organization and externally with customers and partners.

Author Muge Hizal Dogaroglu | Copperberg

Reading time: 3 minutes

The manufacturing industry is evolving. On one hand, increasing customer expectations push companies out of their comfort zones to consider their offerings in a completely new way, to innovate and invest in new technologies. On the other hand, new technology is not compatible with old business models. So, the change needs to be managed; internally within the organization and externally with customers and partners.

It’s neither a linear process nor a short-term journey. Amidst the chaos, asking the right questions can provide the clarity that is needed to move forward. Therefore, we asked 10 service business leaders and speakers of the Aftermarket 2019 about the challenges ahead, the biggest change that will disrupt their industries in the next five years and the hottest technology trends that they are planning to invest in. Here are their answers.

Name the biggest challenge your service business currently faces.

Luis Diaz (Business Development Manager at Alfa Laval): Delivering the expected growth in an increasingly competitive business environment.

Sander Loosveld (Digital Business Manager at TVH Group): Efficiency

Carl-Henrik Sjölund (Global Director Seco Consultancy at Seco Consultancy): Changing habits and skills.

Joel Edman (Global Parts Manager Caterpillar at Caterpillar): Offshore oil and gas reduction.

Eero Hyytinen (Director of Services Sales at Engineering Services): Shifting from the concept of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) and the readiness to execute the change.

Dr. Sabrina Schiele (Head of Data Analytics at Vaillant Group): Data quality and the variety of the tools and processes. (Read our interview with Schiele on how to make the most of your data.)

Lucian Pavel (Sales & Business Development Manager at KLARWIN): Lack of people and digital systems to support growth related to the available business opportunities.

Fabio Santiago (Marketing and TCO Director at Iveco): Moving from being a pure OEM to a service provider.

What do you predict to be the biggest change that will take place in your industry in the next 5-6 years?

Luis Diaz: We will need to reconsider our real values. Traditional business models have become red oceans with an increasing number of competitors.

Sander Loosveld: The impact of connected machines.

Carl-Henrik Sjölund: Lack of know-how and practical hands-on skills when a new digital native generation takes over manufacturing.

Joel Edman: Autonomous vessels, bio gas fuel, batteries.

Eero Hyytinen: Growth; more customer products will be handled by ODMs with services for the complete lifecycle of products.

Dr. Sabrina Schiele: Predictive Maintenance and connectivity for Remote Services.

Lucian Pavel: Right amount of skilled people who will be available for field service in the machinery business.

Fabio Santiago: Many players will expand in each other turfs, from OEMs becoming service/logistics providers to logistics companies “building” their own vehicles.

Name the most important technology (active or in development) your company is/should invest in.

Luis Diaz: Digitalization of traditional technology.

Sander Loosveld: Data analytics.

Carl-Henrik Sjölund: Monitoring technologies, data mining logic as well as people who can understand the manufacturing reality (interpreters) with the target to build and implement easy to use dashboards and communication systems.

Joel Edman: Green fuel.

Kai-Uwe Mietzner: Additive manufacturing.

Eero Hyytinen: Digitalization and systems that secure the availability of services.

Dr. Sabrina Schiele: Connectivity and data analytics.

Lucian Pavel: Digitization of the processes to make it easy for customers to interact with our company and services.

Fabio Santiago: Connectivity services.

Interested in learning more about the future of service business? Read our free Servitization ebook we created with the collaboration of Carl-Henrik Sjölund. Or better yet, check out our upcoming Aftermarket 2019 and Spare Parts 2020 business platforms.