As manufacturing organisations move towards delivering service propositions, potential and existing employees are increasingly required to understand the elements of service which can be controlled to increase efficiency.
Servitisation is a relatively recent concept adopted by manufacturers to deliver a service component in tandem with their traditional product - providing added value to customers, securing orders and boosting profitability.
Manufacturers are positioning themselves so that, not only do they have the capability to manufacture to the highest standard, but that they can also respond and capitalise on all service propositions arising from their product usage.

Embracing servitisation

From customer call centres to physical service hubs, servitisation requires procurement and supply chain professionals to adapt to an increased number of variables within their jobs and operating environments.
In a traditional manufacturing environment, the variables are known and can be managed efficiently to produce the desired output, but in a true service environment the inputs and outputs are less defined. Consequently, variables and complexity are increased and the planning required to deliver efficient services requires a greater understanding of the service related variables.
Dr. Rob Bales, associate director of Michael Page Procurement & Supply Chain explains: “candidates and employees need to understand sources and types of variety so that they can manage and control servitised operations like they would for a tangible manufactured product.”
The sources of variety and the corresponding level of influence depend on the product but include customer inputs, required customer outputs and the process itself.  By understanding the sources and types of variety organisations offering increased elements of service alongside their traditional physical product can plan and control their evolving operations. 

Skills required

Servitisation has evolved over the last ten years across a variety of key manufacturing areas including light consumer durables and electronics, construction, automotive and aerospace manufacturing. As more organisations move towards this service delivery model, hiring managers are keen to attract candidates who understand which elements of service can be influenced to increase efficiency.
According to Rob, employers continue to seek candidates with traditional procurement and supply chain skills backed up by relevant degrees and professional CIPS and MCIPS qualifications.
“Companies are looking for driven procurement and supply chain professionals who can demonstrate tangible achievements and sustained career progression combined with professional qualifications and further education,” Rob said.
Michael Page Procurement & Supply Chain specialises in recruiting candidates with a proven track record of understanding and managing variety in service-focused manufacturing organisations. Rob Bales is associate director responsible for the West Midlands. He holds a PhD in supply chain management (service provision within the aerospace sector) from the University of Exeter.
Get in touch with your local Michael Page Procurement & Supply chain office to find out how our expertise could add value to your procurement or supply chain career progression or to your hiring process.