They say there’s a difference between product evolution and disruptive innovation. Where one simply improves, recreates or makes additions to a process, the other completely flips a process on its head. True innovation disruption must create an entirely new market, one that turns non-customers into customers. Take Netflix, for example. Back in the day, Blockbuster had a stronghold on the movie rental industry. But, when Netflix came to town, offering DVD-by-mail service, suddenly Blockbuster’s business model seemed archaic and irrelevant. As a result, they failed to adapt and quickly lost market share.
And then, when Netflix was put in the same position as Blockbuster had been, as DVD player sales began to decline, they decided to flip the industry on its head, completely changing the game and redefining the way people consume both television and movies. Now, the nearly $20 billion company offers original programming, online streaming and on-demand content – completely transforming the media services industry as we knew it.
Disruption as a Motivator
Netflix is just one of many examples of this generation’s list of disruptive innovations. In fact, macro-level economic, demographic and technological trends and advancements are changing customer expectations across industries and verticals. Online companies like Amazon, Zappos and Uber – combined with the needs of the massive millennial generation – have fueled an on-demand mindset where products should ‘just work’ and service should be instantaneous.
And now, when it comes to service, there is a major disruption occurring around the world – a disruption that is hidden in plain sight. The shift to servitization, or selling access opposed to ownership, has created a massive opportunity for large, durable goods manufacturers, in particular. Iconic brands are at a crossroads and have the choice between two paths: Get ahead of these changes and transform their businesses to determine the future success of their company, or maintain the status quo and ultimately see customer satisfaction, revenue and brand reputation go the way of the Blockbuster (so to speak).
Recently, we collaborated with Worldwide Business Research (WBR) to create a new research report, “Maximized Product Uptime: The Emerging Industry Standard,” to determine how prepared manufacturers are to meet these rising customer expectations. The research highlights the gap between customers’ increasing demand for maximized product uptime and manufacturers’ ability to deliver it, plus strategies for manufacturers to start meeting these new expectations today.
Disruption will always be a constant, and no industry is immune from it. However, disruption shouldn’t incite fear. Instead, it should be a motivator to adapt to these changes within their existing business models and processes to continue meeting – and exceeding – customer expectations. Today, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are in a similar position to Blockbuster and Netflix, and some of the world’s most sophisticated brands must decide which path they will take.
Transform to Survive
The swing to a servitization-focused economy directly impacts after-sales service – the service delivered after the initial sale of a product – probably more than any other business. For many OEMs, after-sales service has long been a sub-optimized area of business. But, in today’s customer-centric climate, companies that swing and miss when it comes to meeting service demands will quickly see customers taking their business elsewhere.
And, as the world continues to change at a rapid pace – oftentimes faster than our ability to adapt – it is more important than ever to shift from a reactive, break-fix service model to one focused on maximizing product uptime, or preemptively repairing equipment before it ever fails. An after-sales service organization focused on maximized product uptime requires a new way of thinking – manufacturers must reinvent their after-sales service organizations, adopting sophisticated solutions and new business processes to optimize the complete service supply chain.
These changes will not only lead to improvements in revenue, gross profits and operational efficiency, but also the overall customer experience. Download the report today and discover insights that will inspire manufacturers as they navigate today’s game-changing world.