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Service Transformation Monitor - Research Project


Building Buy-in to Accelerate Your Service Transformation  

Practical Playbook to build and maintain buy-in from your stakeholders

January - March, 2024


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The Challenge: Buy-In

The Service Transformation Journey



The manufacturing industries are on an exciting journey, compelled to adapt and innovate due to several key trends:

  • Intense Global Competition
    Manufacturers worldwide continually improve, leading to commoditisation and mounting pressure on margins. It's a race to deliver the best, the quickest.

  • Digital Disruption
    The digital revolution is transforming customer expectations and behaviours. Traditional business models are being shaken up, and those who fail to adapt risk becoming obsolete.

  • Sustainability Imperative
    Increasing global awareness of environmental issues presents new opportunities and challenges. Sustainable practices are no longer optional but a core expectation from customers and stakeholders.

During this Service Transformation Journey, the way manufacturing companies deliver value to their customers through services is evolving. 

It involves three fundamental changes:

  1. Service Operations
    Improving how services are provided, ensuring they are efficient and meet customer needs.
  2. Service Business Model
    Developing new service offerings and models, aligning them with changing market demands.
  3. Overall Business Model
    Adjusting the company's primary approach to delivering value with services, data, software, and products, ensuring it remains relevant and competitive.

In essence, services shift from an operational aftermarket function via a profit centre to a strategic business line.


The challenge – building and maintaining buy-in

At the heart of this service transformation lies the need for expert strategic management - a skill crucial for service leadership and innovation teams. 

However, a common hurdle is limited support and buy-in across the organisation, holding back the key initiatives to succeed. Some examples are:

  • Lack of support from marketing and sales to drive the service offerings.
  • Opportunities to sell services are sacrificed, favouring equipment sales opportunities.
  • Necessary funding for the service business resources and investments declined due to other priorities.
  • Re-investing growth of profits into other initiatives than service development.



A striking majority of service strategies, about 70%, fail during execution, primarily due to a lack of genuine support, engagement, and ownership.

Particularly within the service community, securing buy-in from all stakeholders is identified as the foremost challenge, crucial for maintaining a winning pace in service transformation.


Why this matters

The stakes are high; services are now increasingly one of the pillars of corporate strategies, and their performance can influence the entire organisation's success. Today's rapid changes will lead to winners and losers. Winners are those with a higher pace in service transformation, thanks to well-crafted winning strategies, strategy execution and full ownership across the organisation.

Goal of the research

The primary objective of this research project is to develop a clear and practical playbook for building and maintaining the vital buy-in from key stakeholders for a high pace in your service transformation.

This playbook will address several scenarios, each requiring a unique approach to securing buy-in. We aim to articulate:

  • The Nature of Buy-in Required
    We'll explore the specific types of buy-in necessary for different stages and aspects of service transformation. This includes understanding whether the buy-in needed is operational, strategic, financial, or a combination.

  • Purpose and Impact of Buy-in 
    Here, we'll delve into the 'why' – why buy-in is crucial for each scenario. This involves examining how buy-in impacts the success of service strategies, from enhancing team alignment to ensuring resource availability.

  • Identifying Key Challenges and Common Pitfalls 
    Recognising that the path to obtaining buy-in is often fraught with obstacles, our playbook will highlight these challenges. We'll cover common pitfalls such as misaligned objectives, communication barriers, and resistance to change.

  • Strategies for Effective Tactics
    Most importantly, we'll offer practical, tested tactics for overcoming these challenges. These tactics will be geared towards effective communication strategies, stakeholder engagement techniques, and methods to foster a culture of ownership and commitment across the organisation.

Through this research, we intend to provide service leadership and innovation teams with a robust toolkit that addresses the theoretical aspects of obtaining buy-in and offers real-world, actionable strategies for successful implementation.

Benefits of this playbook

The playbook emerging from this research promises substantial benefits for service leadership and innovation teams:

  • Enhanced Strategic Capabilities
    Teams will gain valuable skills in building and maintaining buy-in, which is crucial for any strategic initiative. This enhanced ability ensures a smoother transition and more effective implementation of service strategies.
  • Proficiency in Strategy Management
    The playbook will guide formulating and executing strategies with precision, elevating the team's overall strategic management skills.
  • Empowerment to Drive Transformation
    With a clear understanding of how to secure and leverage buy-in, teams will be better positioned to accelerate the transformation of services into a strategic business line.
  • Tangible Business Benefits
    From improved operational efficiency to increased revenue potential, the playbook will help realise concrete business outcomes.
  • Personal and Emotional Benefits
    Beyond business metrics, this guide will also enhance team confidence, foster a sense of ownership, and promote a culture of collaboration and commitment.

In essence, this playbook is a tool and a catalyst for empowering teams to lead and succeed in the dynamic landscape of service transformation.

Join in this research project

And benefit from:

Approach and status of the research project



The research project will run from January to early March 2024, encompassing several phases, as described below.



  • Exploration
    • Defining a robust and dynamic framework and formulating testable hypotheses.
    • Gathering existing insights and conducting desk research.
    • Conducting explorative interviews and panels
    • Run an explorative survey.
  • Data Collection
    • Conducting focused panels and interviews
    • Run a survey to collect comprehensive data.
  • Analysis & Reporting
    • Conducting a (comparative) analysis of the data to identify the critical success factors and best tactics.
    • Preparing an extensive report and playbook.
  • Dissemination
    • The findings and playbook will be shared amongst all participants at no cost.
    • We will organise an interactive online masterclass.
    • Within the service community, we will further exchange experiences on how to apply the playbook.
    • The Service Community will further elaborate on leveraging the playbook in various community meetings such as Roundtables, Peer Groups, and Service Transformation Summits.

Who is being involved

  • The research actively involves service leadership and innovation teams of B2B manufacturing companies.
  • We may interview relevant experts and academics.
  • We are also exploring the involvement of other relevant stakeholders within manufacturing companies to broaden our understanding and impact.

Current Status

We are currently in the exploration phase, laying the groundwork for the research and engaging with various participants to ensure a rich and diverse input base.

Framework (preliminary)

This framework is built on the understanding that successful service transformation often depends on key stakeholders' priorities, actions, and decisions. This is vital in scenarios where these stakeholders directly influence the service transformation's direction and success.

Our research will follow a two-dimensional framework to analyse and understand the nuances of the challenges and of securing buy-in for service transformation.


Two-dimensional matrix

  • Scenarios based on the type of service (development)
    • Advancing Product Related Services
      Preventative and corrective maintenance, upgrades, and modernisation.
    • Value-Added Services
      Services that enhance the core offerings, requiring a clear definition and understanding.
    • Operational Outcome / Performance Solutions
      Services aimed at improving operational efficiency and outcomes of customers.
    • Product-as-a-Service offerings
      Transforming equipment offerings into service models.
    • Managed Services
      Offering comprehensive management of functions customers can outsource to service providers.
  • Dependencies, requiring specific buy-in from stakeholders
    • Resource Allocation
      Securing resources and funding for managing service business and operations effectively.
    • Investment in Development
      Prioritising the development of advanced capabilities and performance levels, like data, digital and remote elements.
    • Selling and Promoting Services
      Enabling strategies and efforts required to market and sell services.
    • Equipment Replacement vs. Service Trade-offs
      Balancing the sales of new equipment with the offering of services.
    • Expanding Value Propositions
      Aligning the corporate strategy and empowering the enhancement of service offerings.
    • Business Model Transformation
      Moving towards integrated or managed service models in which equipment is not sold on a transactional basis.


Understanding Buy-in

  • What is Buy-in
    It involves commitment, engagement, and ownership from stakeholders.
  • Why We Need Buy-in
    Necessary to manage trade-offs and interdependencies effectively in service transformation.
  • From Whom We Need Buy-in
    Identifying stakeholders who make or influence decisions impacting progress and results. This includes those at various levels – above, at the same level, or within our teams.
  • Challenges in Building and Maintaining Buy-in
    Addressing issues like conflicting interests, lack of goal clarity, and obstacles due to knowledge gaps, skill sets, backgrounds, and habits.
  • Proven Tactics to Build and Maintain Buy-in
    We will explore and identify strategies and approaches that have been effective in real-world scenarios.

Our proposition to participants

We offer the following benefits to the participants in this research project:

  • Full Report and Playbook (Complimentary)
    Participants receive the complete report and playbook at no cost.
  • Exclusive Insights
    Gain access to deeper insights and analysis directly from the primary research source, like the interviews, panel discussions and interactive masterclass.
  • Application Guidance
    Free follow-up interactive masterclass on practical application of the research findings in your organisation.
  • Summit Discount
    Special discount of 10% for your tickets for one of the upcoming Service Transformation Summits.

Join Our Research Journey

We invite you to actively participate in shaping the future of service transformation. Here's how you can get involved:

Your contribution is invaluable. Together, we can drive meaningful change in the service industry.

Join in this research project

And benefit from:

Send me the survey