Exceeding expectations

How Voith Paper took their service business to the next level

Our Experience

The Challenge

Voith Paper is a leading machine building and engineering company, which offers products and services to paper manufacturers. They already have a pure service business, but as the papermaking industry is suffering from major pressures on paper consumption - in particular in the print domain - they decided to turn to Noventum for assistance, in order to develop their service business even further.

Mr Matthew Watts, Senior Vice President Research and Development Voith Paper Products and Services, told us “If you want to grow your service business then you need to exceed the expectations of your customers. This means you have to adopt a different way of doing things, or to improve how things are done and that’s what we were looking for from Noventum. To identify the areas where we can improve and change, become more proactive and also change the type of services that we deliver, away from purely break-fix and emergency, over to the more regular, preventative and also knowledge driven services.”

In order to get there, Voith went looking for an independent benchmark of their performance in service against best practice. But they weren’t willing to settle with just that. They also wanted to make a snapshot of their services operation, looking at their capabilities, as well as the customer experience and value perception. Then based on this snapshot they were looking to develop a service strategy to be incorporated in the overall company strategy for the year to come, with the purpose of driving growth. 

The Strategy

Noventum began conducting internal and external interviews. Firstly, to get the internal perspective, the company culture and its background, as well as the point of view of employees with regards to the improvement potential. And secondly, to get the views of the customers. Customer surveys were also employed for a richer flow of feedback.

Following this, a self-assessment was carried out by the company’s managers, benchmarking Voith Paper compared to the best practices incorporated in the Service Capability and Performance (SCP) Standards.   

Lastly, all the findings were discussed during a workshop which lead to the development of a roadmap of future steps. This was in essence the transformation programme, focusing on realising productivity improvements and driving growth through the development of new services.  

The immediate outcome from participating in this project was that, employees at all levels realised how this transformation could benefit them and thus began to support it. Also, the video interviews with customers gave a clear direction as to what customers really need and what had to be done. In addition, this project identified gaps in the portfolio and work processes, which could greatly improve the market offering. As a result, corrective actions could be identified and taken.  

“This whole process that Noventum applied gave us a holistic view of our current situation, it helped us confirm the gaps and gave us some new insights on how other companies do it, especially when it comes to best practice service processes”, said Mr Watts. 

The Results

Hilbrand Rustema, Managing Director of Noventum stated “This was a somewhat challenging assignment for us, as we had to deal with many people and lots of different opinions, so we are very happy with the outcome”. 

The benchmark conducted by Noventum, together with the employee interviews, helped to identify improvement opportunities with regards to productivity. In addition, the process that Noventum applied when carrying out this benchmark resulted to a unanimous acceptance of the results within Voith Paper, which is something critical for the success of the future transformation plan.

Moreover, the client interviews that Noventum carried out helped identify the needs of clients and their perception over existing services, thereby pinpointing new service opportunities. 

Mr Watts concluded by saying “To go to the next level and to really become a true service provider you have to understand service, processes, expectations and the environment. There are skills and best practices out there to help you do that and that’s what we gained by working on this with Noventum. We also gained a holistic image of our organisation and the areas on which we can improve and managed to get through this exercise with a clear and unanimous direction, supported by everybody in the organisation. This is the biggest power that we gained from this.”  

Megatrends: The impact of societal trends on the manufacturing business

Manufacturers understand the need to be innovative in developing new capabilities and services for customers. Value is not limited to the ownership of the asset supplied to customers, but is created in the usage of the product. In this white paper, we investigated how Societal Megatrends have and will impact the manufacturing industry - our conclusions were derived from a joint research project with the Advanced Services Group, a centre of excellence at Aston Business School.

Read More