By Sarah Nicastro, Creator, Future of Field Service
I think it’s safe to say manufacturers have recognized the need to embrace Servitization, but the race is on to see which companies can successfully transition their operations from product-focused to service-focused. Panasonic Appliances Air-Conditioning Europe is ready to lead the charge and has a strategy in place to do so. Karl Lowe, Head of European Service at Panasonic Appliances Air-Conditioning Europe, recently joined the company with the remit of leading the organization on its journey to Servitization.
“There’s been a recognition within Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions that we need to adopt more of a service mindset,” explains Karl. “The remit I’ve been given is to develop the maturity of our service organization.” Karl explains that, like many product manufacturers, historically service has been viewed within the organization in more of the technical sense. His goal is to broaden that thinking and begin work on getting the company’s service to be perceived as world-class in the way that its diverse portfolio of commercial and residential HVAC products are.
Karl explains that the process is complex because Panasonic Heating & Cooling Solutions operates in so many countries and regions and those operations have been conducted very independently until now. “We have this kind of silo mentality because each country works independently,” he notes. “But what we’re trying to do with service is offer top-down governance in the way that we work operationally, how we work from a service sales point of view and how we work technologically. We don’t want to take away the independence or the free thinking of our National Sales Companies (NSCs), but we do want to move away from each country doing it in their own way. We believe that offering common approaches and processes will really help our organization.”