Historically, instrument manufacturers viewed service as a way to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, often at the expense of the manufacturer. Nowadays, there are a plethora of value-added service options such that service has become a revenue generator and profitable business area.
With efforts being made to create lean labs, laboratories are outsourcing instrument service maintenance and abandoning internal metrology labs. Additionally, services/consulting for starting and closing labs, moving instruments and accounting for instrument inventory, etc. have become important metrics for management personnel to make decisions.
Laboratory service and support includes a wide variety of services that aim to maintain, restore or improve the functionality of industrial laboratories. Instrument repair is only one aspect of this complicated business area. Maintenance, calibration, validation, training and various types of consulting are other areas where vendors can provide additional service and added value to their product offerings. As a result, the service business has become the main driver of increased revenues for some companies in the instrumentation industry.
For the most part, instrument vendors have transformed their service business from a cost-center to a profit-center. This has been a popular trend throughout many industries, and service has changed from a necessary evil to a source of profit. However, there is a limit to how far this transformation can be taken, if it is achieved by simply raising prices of services. Currently, the most active areas of profit increase in the service businesses of instrument manufacturers are in activities that are less directly associated with individual instruments. For example, personnel training, laboratory compliance, application consulting and asset management are the thriving areas of the service and support business. Many of these tasks are much more easily addressed by larger vendors, and they are reaping greater rewards from their ability to capitalize on their size.
Global service demand for analytical technologies are evaluated in terms of product sector, service type, regional demand, industrial and lab function demand and forecasted through 2019. The report also provides insights into the market from a global survey of 296 instrument users revealing their attitudes about different aspects of service.
SDi’s report on laboratory services and support should be of great interest to senior executives, product managers, marketing managers, and others within the analytical instrument industry that participate in, or are considering participating in, the lab instrument field.
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To learn more about this report, visit SDI’s website at www.strategic-directions.com or call us at (310) 641-4982.