Sunday, August 22, 2010

Services becoming an essential element for engineering success

Services are becoming an element of future success for Finnish companies. Even the foundation of Aalto university in Finland is a decent example of logical way of introducing more commercial and arts related skills to engineers and vice versa. It has been argued in public discussions that we lack marketing, brand and design skills. But looking at the educational offering today, things are way different than 10 years ago. For the better.
Talouselämä magazine wrote an article on industrial engineering companies in Finland who are expanding their offering to services. But can Finns master services without the successful background of engineering?
Companies like Kone, Wärtsilä, Metso and Nokia Siemens Networks are now putting great emphasis on services. Offering maintenance, training and development provides further opportunities to acquire better share of the market and an improved relationship with customers. Kone is increasing their service culture through educating "ambassadors" who do not just offer services but are skilled to communicate and market the offering. These companies have built their success on engineering.
According to Talouselämä, Vectia´s Kaj Storbacka thinks the services business in Finland may expand but will be limited. According to Storbacka what Finns may concentrate on is service concepting and management.
Can we build companies will full scale service skills; combining our engineering skills and experience with a specialized service culture? What is it with our culture that limits offering turn key solutions based on our services skills? And if we cannot, what would limit us from acquiring needed skills from abroad and building the success on what we do well? IBM turned from an IT company to a service and consulting house. If engineering as an industry in Finland is showing the signals of providing improved offering through services, will we limit it based on our culture, or are we able to learn and grow globally, acquiring skills and experience needed to make a turnaround business?