Self-funding Innovation

Self-funding innovation of services

Our Experience

The Challenge

A global leading provider of analytical and diagnostic instruments for laboratories faced revenue and margins pressure in Europe.

The basic maintenance and support services were not sufficient to meet customer needs, causing reputation damage. Executives not fully committed to services and scares human and financial resources complicated matters even further.

The challenge was to fix the basics and at the same time, innovate services in all countries.

The Strategy

We developed a vision and strategy for the next 7 years, in which services are a significant source of growth.

We designed a plan in which key topics are addressed in 3 phases:

• Cementing commitment to Service Thinking across the business
• Fixing the operational basics
• Building the brand through customer experience
• Accelerating sales
• Developing new services to become a truly brand-driven service business.

With modest initial working capital, the entire programme is self-funding. Measurable financial results fund further investments in the service business.

The Results

Two years further down the road, results are by all standards impressive:

• Profitability of the service operation increased 20%.
• Number of repeat visits went down 45%, resulting in better customer satisfaction and productivity.

Most importantly, service is now on the management radar screen and is the only entity in the company which has been exempt from cost reductions.

The Key Insights

Internal focus and product driven thinking often make it hard to see how product related and business related services could drive growth and profit.

To foster this understanding and vision across the business, the following is crucial:

• Develop a deep understanding of customer needs and how they could be met.
• Foster a shared view on how a service orientation and customer centricity could drive growth and profit.
• Develop central and local commitment, leadership and capabilities.
• Tangible results and good financial returns are the best advocate of Service Business.

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