What is Servitization? Benefits, Challenges & Tools

The shift to servitization is transforming industries, from manufacturing to retail and everything in-between. In this blog, we’ll explore the fundamentals of servitization – methods, benefits, challenges and more.
February 22, 2024


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What is Servitization? Benefits, Challenges & Tools

The shift to servitization is transforming industries, from manufacturing to retail and everything in-between. In this blog, we’ll explore the fundamentals of servitization – methods, benefits, challenges and more. We’ll discover how businesses are navigating the shift to servitization models leveraging technologies like IoT, sensors, and 5G, and over platforms like composable manufacturing and API hubs.  And we’ll learn how businesses can navigate the complexities of this fundamental change in business mindset, technology and processes.

What is Servitization?

Servitization is a business model where companies don't just sell products, but also provide additional services.

Originating from Rolls Royce's "Power by the Hour" approach, this model now includes continuous services like maintenance, support, and performance monitoring alongside product sales.

The goal is to offer a complete solution, enhancing customer relationships and providing a distinct advantage in the competitive marketplace.

How Does Servitization Work?

Servitization combines products with value-added services, transforming traditional business models. Key steps in this process are:

  1. Integrate Services with Products: Companies pair their core products with complementary services.
  2. Employ Advanced Technologies: IoT and data analytics are utilized for better service delivery and predictive maintenance.
  3. Establish Recurring Revenue Models: Transition to subscription-like models for steady revenue.
  4. Implement Flexible Pricing Strategies: Adapt pricing models to fit various customer needs and market segments.
  5. Expand Market Reach: Broaden customer base by offering comprehensive product-service packages.

Servitization Examples Across Sectors

Sector Traditional Offering Servitization Model Example of Services Offered
Manufacturing Machinery Machinery + Services Maintenance, repairs, upgrades, training
Automotive Vehicles Vehicles + Service Packages Leasing, insurance, telematics monitoring
IT & Technology Software/Hardware SaaS/HaaS Cloud services, managed IT support
Retail Products Products + Subscription Services Personal shopping, extended warranties
Energy Energy Products Energy Solutions + Management Services Efficiency consulting, maintenance

Why is Servitization Important for Businesses?

Servitization represents a significant shift in business strategy, moving from a focus on product sales to a service-oriented approach. Its importance is underscored by several key factors:

  • Sustained Customer Engagement: Establishes lasting relationships, enhancing loyalty and revenue. A study by Aston Business School's Advanced Services Group confirms a 5-10% annual increase in service revenue for businesses adopting servitization.
  • Economic Stability: Diversifies income, buffering against market volatility. For instance, Xerox's shift to managed print services demonstrates resilience during economic shifts.
  • Environmental Efficiency: Encourages resource optimization and longer product lifecycles. Caterpillar's predictive maintenance illustrates reduced waste and extended equipment life.
  • Market Relevance: Keeps businesses competitive in evolving markets by meeting new customer needs through integrated service offerings.
  • Increased Profitability: Opens new revenue streams, reducing reliance on one-time sales.

In summary, servitization is crucial for businesses to maintain relevance, profitability, and sustainability in the modern, service-oriented economy.

Benefits of Servitization

Servitization offers manufacturers and OEMs numerous benefits, including:

1. Improved Reliability and Uptime

By providing ongoing maintenance and monitoring services as part of the product lifecycle, manufacturers adopting servitization models can proactively address issues, minimizing downtime and enhancing product reliability. This enhances both operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, lowers disruptions, and actually prolongs the product lifespan. Ultimately, this strategic shift to servitization contributes to a more dependable and resilient manufacturing ecosystem.

2. Enhanced Customer Operations

Manufacturers that shift from a transactional model to the approach of a service provider can establish deeper relationships with customers. Through personalized services, ongoing support, and tailored solutions, these manufacturers can shape and enhance internal customer operations and processes. Such a customer-centric focus not only fosters loyalty but also creates a competitive edge and drives long-term satisfaction, which are pivotal in today's customer-driven market.

3. Ability to Sell New Product Capabilities

By adopting a service-oriented model, manufacturers can continuously upgrade and offer enhanced features and capabilities to existing customers via subscriptions or advanced services. The ability to sell new product capabilities not only generates additional revenue streams but also keeps customers engaged, fostering a sense of value and ensuring sustained competitiveness in a rapidly evolving market. This makes servitization a catalyst not only for continuous product improvement, but also for customer satisfaction.

4. New Revenue-Generating Businesses

Transitioning from traditional product sales to service-oriented models ensures a steady income stream for manufacturers. But it can also open the door to entirely new lines of business. This strategic shift allows manufacturers to diversify their revenue sources, adapt to market trends, and capitalize on evolving customer preferences. In a very real sense, servitization can drive manufacturers to explore opportunities that will dramatically expand their business.

Challenges in Servitization

While the shift to servitization offers a world of benefits for device manufacturers, it comes with no small number of challenges, too. Among these are:

1. Change in Mindset

The shift to servitization in the manufacturing industry demands a fundamental change in mindset across the organization. Traditionally product-centric, manufacturers moving as-a-service models must transition to a service-oriented approach that emphasizes customer relationships and continuous value delivery. This requires a cultural shift within organizations and can challenge deeply-ingrained practices. Resistance to this change, both at the individual and organizational levels, may impede the adoption of servitization.

2. Integration

The move to a service-based business model requires seamless coordination between product and service offerings. Combining tangible goods with intangible services means that diverse technologies, processes, and organizational functions need to be tightly integrated. Creating the cohesive and interconnected system needed to deliver both products and services necessitates substantial investment in technology infrastructure and possibly organizational restructuring. Manufacturers can be challenged to streamline these disparate elements to ensure unified and efficient operations.

3. Timescale

Implementing a comprehensive transformation from product-centric to service-oriented models requires time for planning, adaptation, and organizational alignment. Rapid changes can disrupt established workflows, while balancing the immediate need for revenue with the longer-term strategic shift can also be demanding. Manufacturers are challenged to manage the pace of transition, ensure a smooth shift without compromising existing operations, and allow the businesses to evolve gradually while maintaining operational continuity and financial stability.

4. Value Delivery

Value delivery is a challenge in the shift to servitization in manufacturing companies because the concept of ‘value’ itself changes fundamentally. Moving from product-focused transactions to ongoing customer-centric relationships and ensuring consistent value throughout the service lifecycle demands a reevaluation of business processes, customer interactions, and performance metrics. Manufacturers can be challenged to adapt to delivering not just products but continuous outcomes, since this requires a refined understanding of customer needs and the ability to meet evolving expectations.

5. Resistance to Servitization

Traditional manufacturing cultures centered on product sales may encounter internal pushback when embracing new service-centric paradigms. Employees who are long-accustomed to conventional processes may resist altering established routines and processes, impeding the transition to service offerings. Overcoming this resistance requires effective change management strategies, clear communication, and demonstrating the benefits of servitization in terms of sustained revenue, customer loyalty, and long-term competitiveness.

Pros and Cons of Servitization

Servitization BenefitsServitization Challenges

Improved Reliability and Uptime

  • Proactive maintenance and monitoring reduce downtime

  • Enhances operational efficiency and product reliability

  • Prolongs product lifespan

Change in Mindset

  • Shift from product-centric to service-oriented approach

  • Demands cultural change and faces individual and organizational resistance

Enhanced Customer Operations

  • Deepens relationships with personalized services

  • Shapes and enhances internal customer operations

  • Fosters loyalty and creates a competitive edge

  • Drives long-term satisfaction


  • Coordinating tangible goods with intangible services

  • Requires technology investment and organizational restructuring

Ability to Sell New Product Capabilities

  • Continuous upgrade and offering enhanced features

  • Generates additional revenue via subscriptions

  • Keeps customers engaged and ensures competitiveness


  • Demands time for planning and alignment

  • Balancing immediate revenue needs with long-term shift

New Revenue-Generating Businesses

  • Diversifies revenue sources

  • Adapts to market trends and evolving customer preferences

  • Explores opportunities for business expansion

Value Delivery

  • Shifting from product-focused to customer-centric relationships

  • Requires reevaluation of processes and understanding evolving customer needs

Resistance to Servitization

  • Encountering internal pushback in traditional cultures

  • Overcoming resistance needs effective change management and clear communication

What Tools and Technologies Support Servitization?

There are numerous tools, products, and platforms that are essential and already completely servitization-ready, among them:


  • IoT: IoT products enhance servitization by providing real-time data for predictive maintenance - improving efficiency, enabling outcome-based services, and fostering continuous customer engagement.
  • Sensors: Sensor products enable servitization by providing real-time data for predictive maintenance, personalized services, and continuous monitoring - enhancing both value proposition and customer experience.
  • 5G : 5G products boost servitization by enabling faster, more reliable connectivity - enhancing real-time data transmission, and facilitating advanced services.


  • Composable: Composable manufacturing platforms support servitization by offering flexible, modular systems that adapt to changing service requirements - fostering agility, customization, and efficiency.
  • API hub: API hub platforms facilitate servitization by seamlessly connecting diverse services, enabling interoperability, and allowing easy integration.
  • Edge computing: Edge computing platforms bolster servitization by processing data closer to the source - reducing latency, enabling real-time insights, and enhancing the efficiency of delivering personalized services.
  • Distributed cloud model: Distributed cloud model platforms aid servitization by providing scalable, decentralized infrastructure that ensures reliable and responsive service delivery.

Drivers of Servitization

Some of the key drivers of servitization include:

  • Product differentiation  - Enhancing market appeal through distinctive product features and innovations
  • Cost savings - Cutting operational expenses for a more efficient and cost-effective approach
  • Improved service quality - Elevating the overall standard of services provided to customers
  • New revenue streams - Creating additional avenues for generating income and diversifying revenue
  • Increased profitability - Boosting overall financial gains and returns on investment
  • New service business model - Adopting a novel approach to conducting business centered on services


The paradigm shift to servitization is reshaping industries, offering transformative benefits yet posing diverse challenges. While technological tools like IoT, sensors, and 5G drive servitization, businesses must navigate challenges such as mindset shifts, integration complexities, and resistance. By understanding the intricacies, embracing a service-oriented mindset, and leveraging innovative technologies, businesses can successfully navigate the servitization revolution.


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What is Servitization? Benefits, Challenges & Tools


Omer Brookstein
Co-founder & CEO
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