Servitization capabilities for advanced services: a multi-actor perspective

Chris Raddats, Jamie Burton, Judy Zolkiewski, Vicky M. Story, Tim Baines, Howard Lightfoot

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Servitization is the process by which manufacturers add services to their product offerings and even replace products with services. The capabilities necessary to develop and deliver advanced services as part of servitization are often discussed in the literature from the manufacturer’s perspective, e.g.,
having a service-focused culture or the ability to sell solutions. Recent research has acknowledged the important role of customers and, to a lesser extent, other actors (e.g., intermediaries) in bringing about successful servitization, particularly for use-oriented and results-oriented advanced services. The objective of this study is to identify the capabilities required to successful develop advanced services as part of servitization by considering the perspective of manufacturers, intermediaries and customers. This study involved interviews with 33 managers in 28 large UK-based companies from these three groups, about servitization capabilities.
The findings suggest that there are eight broad capabilities that are important for advanced services; 1) personnel with expertise and deep technical product knowledge, 2) methodologies for improving operational processes, helping to manage risk and reduce costs, 3) the evolution from being a product- focused manufacturer to embracing a services culture, 4) developing trusting relationships with other actors in the network to support the delivery of advanced services, 5) new innovation activities focused on financing contracts (e.g., ‘gain share’) and technology implementation (e.g., Web-based applications), 6) customer intimacy through understanding their business challenges in order to develop suitable solutions, 7) extensive infrastructure (e.g., personnel, service centres) to deliver a local service, and 8) the ability to tailor service offerings to each customer’s requirements and deliver these responsively to changing needs.
The capabilities required to develop and deliver advanced services align to a need to enhance the operational performance of supplied products throughout their lifecycles and as such require greater investment than the capabilities for base and intermediate services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGrowth through servitization
Subtitle of host publicationdrivers, enablers, processes and impact (SSC2014) : proceedings of the Spring Servitization Conference
EditorsTim Baines, Ben Clegg, David Harrison
Place of PublicationBirmingham (UK)
PublisherAston University
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)978-1-85449-472-6
Publication statusPublished - May 2014
EventSpring Servitization Conference 2014 - Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 May 201414 May 2014


ConferenceSpring Servitization Conference 2014
Abbreviated titleSSC2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

© Aston Business School

Funding: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EP/K014072/3


  • advanced service actors
  • capabilities
  • interviews


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