As 2018 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of the most memorable posts of the year. From top manufacturing news stories to world-class industry events, thought-provoking content and Syncron organizational milestones – we covered it all.

So, whether you missed out on one of these posts the first time around, or you’re coming back for more, here are our top ten best blogs of 2018:

FROM SELLING PRODUCTS TO SELLING OUTCOMES: TRANSFORMING YOUR SERVICE BUSINESS MODEL

The Syncron team took Field Service USA 2018, live blogging some of the keynotes, panels, and breakout sessions throughout the event. During an expert panel discussion on “Transforming Your Service Business Model From Selling A Product To Selling An Outcome,” thought-leaders covered all things service business. In our uptime-driven world, we’re moving from selling a product to selling service. Modern companies are adding service revenue streams and adjusting payment models to reflect the value of uptime. But this change doesn’t happen overnight – the key is to have a strategic dialogue with stakeholders to drive the change that’s necessary to thrive in this new service-driven business.

Read more here.

PRICING AND SERVITIZATION: DOES PRODUCT UPTIME IMPACT DECISION MAKING?

When it comes to pricing, does product uptime really impact decision making? The short answer? Yes. Think of it this way: when trying to take full advantage of your Paid Time Off, getting where you’re going as efficiently as possible is crucial. What if you knew that a particular airline marketed their predictive maintenance processes as part of their operations? Would you be willing to pay extra for your seat to ensure you arrive at an exact time? How much more? Servitization is completely reinventing business models, and with increasingly complex, high tech equipment, customers rely on companies for service expertise now more than ever.

Read more here.

GENUINE VS. GREY MARKET PARTS: HOW MANUFACTURERS CAN WIN

The legality of grey market parts continues to be blurry. Several court cases in recent years have ruled both in favor and against the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), leading to no clear resolutions on how to successfully navigate and fight against the grey market and its negative implications. There is more pressure on manufacturers than ever to enhance the customer experience, and unfortunately, the status quo just won’t cut it anymore. The manufacturers that compete and win against grey market part providers will be the ones to invest in both human capital and technology to further enhance their abilities, especially in the case of after-sales service.

Read more here.

LUXURY SUBSCRIPTION SERVICES ARE DRIVING A NEW WAVE IN SERVITIZATION

In the new age of minimalism where the main qualifier is, “if it doesn’t spark joy – get rid of it,” we’re asking even deeper questions. What if it doesn’t spark financial profitability? Or customer loyalty? Or organizational sustainability? That’s what’s happening to the traditional idea of ownership: People are breaking up with owning things outright, and are instead opting for luxury subscription services as a way to save, streamline and sustain these big-ticket items. This shift to access is ultimately known as servitization – the selling of service and outcomes versus the selling of new products – and it’s making the cut on many organizations’ priority lists.

Read more here.

SERVITIZATION: THE NEXT FRONTIER OF FIELD SERVICE

As we move from a reactive, break-fix service model to one focused on maximized product uptime, we’re also entering a shift from the selling of products to the selling of service. This shift is otherwise known as servitization, and it’s changing the way manufacturers approach customer service as a whole. At the 2018 Field Service USA event, the Syncron team led its annual workshop focusing on these trends and technologies and their potential impact on field service. The most popular topic of the workshop was servitization, which is becoming a common strategy for equipment manufacturers to improve customer satisfaction and grow profits in the manufacturing industry.

Read more here.

INDUSTRY 4.0 OPENS NEW UNTAPPED POTENTIALS IN AFTER-SALES SERVICE

Does selling data dilute your brand? Will Industry 4.0 impact your core business negatively – and is the digitization tradeoff worth it? How willing will people be to pay? Is it in high demand… and do people really care? At the 29th Annual Spring Pricing Workshops & Conference, in between the hustle and bustle, we got to hear about “Monetizing Industrial Internet of Things.” In the session, speakers encouraged us to think about digitization and Industry 4.0 in a different way; we’ve heard how the abundance of data can be used to optimize prices intelligently, but now it’s time to think of the data we collect day to day and use it for burgeoning monetization opportunities.

Read more here.

TALES FROM THE WORLD OF AFTER-SALES: DEALERSHIPS, DIGITIZE OR DIE

From having the right service parts in stock to treating each customer as a unique individual with unique needs, modern organizations must continuously improve their after-sales service experiences if they are going to survive. Digitization is no longer forward thinking – it’s the new standard. Service starts at the very first interaction and continues throughout the entire experience, and shortchanging investments in technology will ultimately leave antiquated organizations in the dust.

Read more here.

BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY TAKES TRACKING THE SUPPLY CHAIN TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL

In the proverbial stadium that is emerging technology, the blockchain wave is catching on, and it’s changing the after-sales service game for the better. The tech itself is constantly evolving — be it developmental or the way it’s governed and regulated – and it’s set to be worth nearly $8B by 2024. And, as expected, blockchain is finding it’s way deeper into the supply chain. The distributed online ledger is continuing to be fine-tuned, and manufacturers have the potential to really capitalize on the opportunity the technology brings—to create a more transparent, accountable and efficient supply chain network than ever seen before.

Read more here.

WELCOME TO THE SMART FARM: HOW AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES ARE DIGITIZING EQUIPMENT

First came the smartphone, then came the smart home, and now… the smart farm? It’s no secret that the Internet of Things (IoT) is taking over industries worldwide, but the most recent influx of smart technologies is coming in one of the most unexpected – but potentially most necessary – of places: agricultural equipment. AGCO Corp. announced a development partnership with agricultural technology company AgIntegrated (AGI) to deliver agricultural information management systems services to AGCO customers. Together, this dynamic duo is promising AGCO farmers the ability to connect more easily with their agronomy service providers, create seamless data connectivity, and, ultimately, digitize the farm.

Read more here.

SYNCRON + SUMMIT PARTNERS: REACHING NEW HEIGHTS IN SERVITIZATION AND MAXIMIZED PRODUCT UPTIME

As a global organization, with proud Swedish roots, service and innovation are at our core. That’s why we are delighted to partner with Summit Partners to support our next chapter of expansion and our path to IPO readiness. Summit’s deep experience collaborating with high-growth, enterprise SaaS companies will add valuable support to our vision of leading the transition from reactive, break-fix after-sales service to intelligently maximizing product uptime and customer loyalty.

Read more here.

For an in-depth look at how we think these major manufacturing news stories will impact manufacturers and how they can prepare for 2019 and beyond, check out 2019 After-sales Service Predictions: Powering the Journey to Servitization Through Maximized Product Uptime.