There’s plenty to “get” about Servitization! So, why have so many field service managers not yet taken steps to adopt Servitization within their own organizations? Break/fix was decades ago; and so was Network Services Management (NSM). Self-support and customer portals? Yesterday’s news, as well. However, Servitization is here – and here to stay – at least for a long while.

But, what is there left to “get”?

I suppose it makes sense that you will need to “get” a full understanding of what Servitization is before you’re actually able to acquire a Servitization-based Field Service Management (FSM) solution for your services organization. OK – I “get” it!

So …, here’s your path forward:

  • First, learn as much as you can from trade associations, virtual Webcasts and conferences, industry experts, peers and online case studies and testimonials. Word of mouth testimonials are also good. And, oh yeah – you may also want to schedule some time with an actual Field Service Management (FSM) vendor that bases its solution on a foundation of Servitization.
  • Next, review the material you have collected for consistencies/inconsistencies, soundness, delivery, maintenance, practicality, scalability, user ratings – and price. Don’t just look at the suggested list price – those days are long gone (i.e., another traditional software acquisition mechanism that has bitten the dust). You will need to look at pricing in a completely different way, in terms of monthly fees based on things such as system uptime; system capacity, bandwidth, usage and throughput; results/outcomes and, ultimately, the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) (i.e., which, by and large, has replaced Value-in-Use, or ViU).
  • Look for prospective matches between what your “new” FSM solution offers and what your services organization delivers to see where there may be gaps that may need to be filled. Making the transition from the traditional on-site support and Preventive Maintenance service delivery model to an outcomes-based model will not necessarily be easy. Management has to buy into Servitization from the outset – and that may not be easy to achieve. In fact, you may run into a great deal of resistance from the top – especially if you have not communicated the anticipated Return-on-Investment (ROI) that can be realized through the transition.
  • Prepare to be “shot down” once or twice – or more. To avoid this, take steps to really know your material before making any presentations – to anyone. Enlist the help of your peers and support teams elsewhere in the organization. There will be strength in numbers that you will be able to leverage.
  • Set a realistic bar for your expectations – and be careful not to set it too low, or too high. Too low, and there will likely not be a groundswell of support for your path forward. Too high, and you will probably never reach your goals. Either case is bad: the former because you may not get the chance to move forward; and the latter, because you may be told “I told you so” following the transition.
Bill Pollock

President & Principal Consulting Analyst, Strategies for Growth