Service Supply Chain Survey 2018

Manufacturing companies weigh in on the maturity of their after-sales strategies

Our Service Supply Chain Survey polled manufacturing companies in Europe to gauge maturity levels in after-sales supply chain. The results clearly indicate that the more advanced the service supply chain, the larger the company’s gross margin.

A focus shift in the industry

Our first service (or after-sales) supply chain survey clearly indicates that the stronger and more advanced the setup and organisation of the service supply chain, the larger the gross margin of the company.

For many companies, an innovative service supply chain offering is key to maintaining their competitive edge. While buyers were traditionally concerned about quality, functionality and price/investment, the focus is gradually shifting towards service of all types: after-sales service, advice and uptime.


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Key elements of a service supply chain

There are five key elements that define the service supply chain of an organisation.



Burgundy icon for supply chain: Service design and pricing
Burgundy icon for supply chain: Organisation
Burgundy icon for supply chain: Field service management
Burgundy icon for supply chain: Spare parts supply chain
Burgundy icon for supply chain: Technology and software


1. Service design and pricing

Incorporating the service supply chain into the total value offering begins with a clear objective of what the company wants to achieve with its service offering. There’s no single solution that fits every company or customer, so a thorough analysis of the service potential must be completed first. 

By not seeing it as a value-creating aspect of the firm, a great deal of potential and benefits are lost or improperly exploited.

Only 10% of survey respondents have their service supply chain embedded in their total value offering

Two men in suits talking about a pricing sheet

2. Organisation

Product-centric structures and organisational silos aren’t sufficient for a competitive service offering, so organisations need to align, adapt and, if necessary, even transform to become completely customer-oriented.

There are four distinct stages in the organisation process, with the first being the most basic and the last the most beneficial for a service supply chain.

Only 12% of companies have the most advanced structure with an independent service organisation

Figure: Organisational structure


3. Field service management

Most businesses acknowledge that field service and spare parts sales are major contributors to revenue and profit, especially with a large installed base.

Key areas for good field service management are identified in the figure below.

Field Service Management: ticketing, Spare parts availability, Tehcnical qualitications & availability, Routing & network layout, Customer SLAs

Figure: Field Service Management

4. Spare parts supply chain

Only four percent of survey respondents have a service parts forecast with predictive modeling or machine learning.

In today’s economy, the most important part of a service offering remains the supply of spare parts. Most companies still use a reactive approach driven by the requests of customers.

Over 60% of respondents use no forecast at all, or a forecast based on historical data

5. Technology and software

One third of companies don’t capture data from their remote installed base. Nearly one quarter use the data for continuous improvement. 

To fully enable a solid, sustainable service supply chain, the necessary technology needs to be implemented to optimise the service offering by developing enhanced solutions and providing in-depth data analysis. 

Only 17% share the data with customers

Figure: Data capturing method (%)

Figure: Data capturing method (%)


The five stages of supply chain maturity

The PwC Service Supply Chain Survey identifies five stages through which an organisation evolves from being product-oriented to becoming customer-centric. Companies striving to become a service leader need to plan, adapt and prepare to move through the stages step by step.

Organisations that set clear goals are most likely the ones that would reach the next level.


Five stages of PwC Service Supply Chain Maturity Model: Informal. Structured, Integrated, Holistic, Cooperative

Figure: PwC Service Supply Chain Maturity Model 



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Matthias Reyntjens

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 047 644 5392

Koen Cobbaert


Tel: +32 (0)9 268 8058

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