Ecosystem to Deliver Services

In todays connected word, people expect to engage and be engaged by organisations in new ways, in ways that are most convenient for them. 


To help businesses respond to these changing expectations we are committed to providing the most comprehensive service offering, and this includes the best field service capabilities.


This may involve a service organisation being part of a larger customer service ecosystem and connected to other organisations.


Nick Frank, Founder and Managing Partner, Si2 Partners


“An ecosystem is a of a group of people or companies that are intra dependent on each other.


For many other manufacturers, and in many situations, it’s actually much more complex. It’s almost like there’s an ecosystem of suppliers partners, with specialists that go towards actually delivering the complete through life system and, and then partnership starts to make more sense. And even the people taking the lead in that partnership, sometimes will not be the OEM, it will be the service specialist or supplier, because they are best, if you’re best situated to actually manage that ecosystem to have the most leverage the most power.


A good example of that, you’ll see is in UK defence, and aerospace, but especially in defence, very complex, advanced services involved around advanced products. They cannot deliver those services and support requirements cannot be delivered by a single entity.


So therefore, what happens is that there’s an ecosystem of partners comes together. And those are literally ecosystems, because some of those partners are competitors. Some are suppliers to each other. So they’re a supplier, they’re a customer, they’re a competitor, but they come together, and they’re brought together to deliver the value.


Two key things I would add to your thinking is, start with the customer value, because that will tell you what the customer really needs, and what kind of services and the sophistication the services that are required. And then look at the ecosystem to deliver that service. And if you’re safe coming from it as a non OEM, if you are in a strong position within that ecosystem, because of the assets, you have the expertise, the knowledge, the information, then you’re in a good position to actually drive that ecosystem and then hence manage the servitization, in the loosest sense of the word of that product system to a customer.”


Kris Oldland, Editor in Chief, Field Service News


“This is where ecosystem thinking comes in, where it there’s a friction almost from the way that is described between the OEM, a third party service provider, but the customer isn’t really concerned about that. They just want that one transition through. So as for me, it’s reliant, not on the customer relationship there the customer conversation, but on the ecosystem between the OEMs and the third party service providers.”


Sam Klaidman, Founder and Principal Advisor, Middlesex Consulting


“So far as ecosytems go, a few years ago I was in charge of constructing a new building in my local town, and it was a $8 million project. I learned something about how the construction industry works and it was mind boggling. So here we have in Massachusetts, this legislature has identified 18, unique trades, plumbing, electrician, dry wall, steelwork etc. And when we went to bid on our project, first we bid each of those 18 specialties, then we bid out the general contractor and as part of the general contractors bidding.


So we ended up with 19 contracted independent businesses working on our project, managed by the general contractor, their strength was scheduling, and organising all the various contractors. And then over seeing them all was the architect who knew what had to be done and kept checking to make sure it was being done correctly.” 


Terence Horsman, COO, ORCA Service technologies


“Thinking around the whole concept of the service ecosystem and the complexity, and I think there’s almost a scale, service providers can always add value in Servitization, no matter what the ecosystem or the business model is, the business model is always driven to achieve customer value, that’s the primary focus of any business. But where does it fit in?”


Kris Oldland, Editor in Chief, Field Service News


“But you could take the ecosystem thinking into any environment. In fact, I did it with a colleague of mine who runs a small router business, and was developing an IoT solution. They couldn’t do all themselves. And they were basically created an ecosystem. Its quite interesting that you can use that kind of thinking to actually deliver a service which is far more complex in scope, then you’re able to deliver by yourself by working with partners in this kind of in this kind of way.”


Ralf Boots, Business Development and Performance Lead, International Markets at Philips


“At Phillips, we try to provide a solution for our customers. So therefore, we think it’s important to stay connected with that customer. We want to play that role by increasing our relevance and our core business. Now, that is connecting the systems. So making sure we’ve got that connection, and we have that connection built on that, but also provide outcome services, for the customers, and then setting up this ecosystem to partner up to provide a solution.


Now that can be outcome driven, but the solutions can also be a finance solution. So we partnered with a bank because it’s heavy investments for customers, professional services, outcomes. So looking into, who are the partners in the industry, and that we can partner up to provide this the solutions to our to our customers.


On the operational side, also looking to partners who can help us to deliver these services. And here, you can think of the traditional model and address service providers. we do that. But we see ourselves as more the conductor, and the owner of these solutions. So moving from the OEM planner into servitization, or solution business.”


Chris Craggs, CEO MCFT food equipment services started off the conversation


“Its about complexity, and therefore horses for course. We experienced extreme frustration in trying to integrate with our customers, we have, no problem at all with our supply chain, and guess why the supply chain is motivated, because if they integrate with us, they’re going to derive work from it, tried to persuade a customer that actually couldn’t our systems linked via an API to your system, so that you’re sitting in your control room, placing orders, seeing real time information about attendance, resolution, insights into the state, all that sort of stuff cannot be done.


I think where we’re at is we’ve got various software investments that people have gone into, that aren’t necessarily compatible between systems, and then therefore, or eaten compatible with anything else, quite deliberately. And that, therefore, people have real challenges in trying to get to talk to different systems. And until we get over that problem, I think we’re going to have a real problem, and particularly when you’re trying to build ecosystems, because ecosystems absolutely rely on frictionless communication.


To the point that that ecosystem will rely on the specialists being specialists in their area. It won’t be generalists. And it may be manufacturers, manufacturing, dealers dealing because they have local knowledge, spares, suppliers, robot pickers and so forth, and service companies, being specialists and one of the strengths that that requires, and obviously competence on the one hand communication subject to API’s, with footprints in the territory. The ability to provide insights that feed back to client user and OEM to say, you need to do more of this and less than the other. Integration, depending on where you are in various systems.”


All members of the Field Service Think Tanks are speaking from their own personal opinions which are not necessarily reflective of the organisations they work for. 

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