Operations Consulting: Service Excellence

Operations Consulting: Service Excellence


Transforming the service business into a solution provider requires new operating models and demands courage

Related Expertise


Growing numbers of industries are feeling the pressure of inflation, shortages and rising competition. Offering customers good service now is an effective way, even in difficult times, to offset some of the increasing squeeze on margins. Professionalizing and digitalizing services offers countless opportunities to optimize customer satisfaction, and with it, profitability. In short, without a professional service business, a profitable future will be very hard to achieve.

No other business function has as much customer contact as the service department. If you want to stand out in the market, Service Excellence can be a key driver for your profitability.
No other business function has as much customer contact as the service department. If you want to stand out in the market, Service Excellence can be a key driver for your profitability.
"Innovative offerings such as Anything-as-a-Service and predictive maintenance offer attractive opportunities to ensure long-term customer retention and generate continuous revenues."
Portrait of Oliver Knapp
Senior Partner
Stuttgart Office, Central Europe

The sale of spare parts was long the mainstay of the service business across many industry verticals, including machinery. But spare parts have become less and less significant for revenue and profits in recent years. And customers now have significantly higher expectations around quality of products and components. Nobody wants to buy parts anymore – they want solutions to fulfill their precise needs and specific use cases.

Growing product standardization and digitalization reinforces this trend to an even greater degree. After all, it has never been easier for customers to buy parts or perform services themselves. At the same time, competition in the service business has risen sharply, with third-party providers now competing with OEMs to claim sizeable parts of the market for themselves.

The paradigm shift is well underway: Transformation is the key to success

The transformation of the service business – moving from selling products to selling solutions – has long since begun. These days, a product is often nothing more than a vehicle with which to achieve a specific outcome or provide a desired solution for the customer. Having already caused profound upheaval in numerous consumer-facing industries, the transformation is now impacting the B2B segment with full force.

Hardware is set to become ever more commoditized going forward, as it transitions from a product to a classic after-sales service to XaaS (Anything-as-a-Service). Product-oriented companies thus face the challenge of having to fundamentally change their mindset to move away from the "technology and product first" paradigm. XaaS simultaneously marks the step into the fourth phase of the business model revolution. Because ultimately, it is not the data that matters, even with XaaS. What matters is that the company's leaders have the courage to resolutely tackle the business's transformation into a service and solution provider.

To be successful in the future with innovative services, companies must adapt their operating model now and build new capabilities. The requirements of a new operating model, such as service excellence, connectivity, big data and digital workflows, call for a different set of skills among the workforce – not just technical skills, but also the ability to cope with the growing complexity.

From service excellence to XaaS: Our experts help you get more out of your services

Despite being crucially important to a company's success, the service business is often neglected in practice. We can help you unlock its full potential. Whether you want to establish services as one of the key profit-generating functions in your company or make the transition into new business models with Anything-as-a-Service or predictive maintenance, our Service Cluster will be the expert partner by your side.

Our consulting spectrum covers a wide range of solutions, from a quick readiness check of your service department to rapid prototyping for new service business models to using RPA for efficiency gains that you can really feel. We'll also help you develop Industry 4.0 offerings and implement predictive maintenance solutions. We can handle even the most challenging XaaS projects.

Find out how we can help you stand out with service excellence, ensure long-term customer retention and unlock new revenue potential. Your customers will be glad you did.

Case studies
#1: Service delivery optimization

We worked with a leading mechanical engineering firm to analyze the status quo in service performance and optimize service delivery. As part of the project, we reduced lead times by more than 70% and freed up significant service capacity for value-adding activities. We also helped bring the lost order rate down by applying advanced technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), photo-based parts recognition and live performance dashboards.

#2: Transforming a measuring technology and software corporation

In our work for a leading measuring technology and software corporation, we led their successful transformation from a hardware business to an XaaS/digital service solutions company. We assisted the client in laying the foundations for new ways of working via training on digital solutions and best-practice XaaS methods. At the same time, we helped the team establish a new mindset for radically innovative technologies and services.

#3: Evolving our client's service organization and strategy

We helped a leading machine tool manufacturer accelerate their service transformation. Working with the company to develop their target service organization and their service strategy, we advised and supported the client across numerous aspects of the implementation, including redesigning the global warehouse footprint, improving spare parts pricing, and reorganizing the entire spare parts pricing process. We were also involved in introducing a global service contract portfolio and an FSM system.

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