As many industries are shifting toward a focus on services and solutions as opposed to products, major changes are occurring in manufacturing. Companies able to navigate this evolution successfully will find that they have to manage an entire value chain ecosystem, providing complete solutions to customers.
Indeed, according to a recent whitepaper from technology research firm Gartner (News - Alert), manufacturers in every industry are now positioning themselves as solution providers. This challenges the traditional product-network supply chain focus, leaving a lack of clear ownership of the model, known as original solution orchestrator (OSO). This is to be expected, though, as the OSO model is still in its infancy and is, according to Gartner, at least five to 10 years away from maturity.
For now, Gartner recommends that manufacturers identify stakeholders in the company that will enable the OSO model and form a small group of though leaders, or a center of excellence, with sales, services, IT, supply chain and product experts. It is also crucial, before executing an OSO model, for OEMs to decide on either developing a capability in-house or outsourcing.
An OSO leverages the right combination of hardware, software, human capital and services to solve unique customer problems comprehensively. Examples from device manufacturing include remote services, device monitoring and "smart" products. Other industries with successful OSO models include process manufacturing, healthcare/life science and industrial equipment.
The OSO model can be split into four categories: physical supply chain, moving a product or service from the supplier to the customer; extended customer value cycle, the end-to-end customer experience; digital supply chain (DSC), the delivery of digital media by electronic means; and process manufacturing solutions, in which oil, gas, chemical, vehicle and agricultural manufacturers have started to attach value-added services to product offerings.
For a more in-depth look at OSO, be sure to check out Gartner's whitepaper here.
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