Digital Servitization Demonstrator: From Sensor to Service to Business Success

Funded Value:

Manufacturing Made Smarter

Project Status:

Project Reference:

Lead Research Organisation:
Aston Business School
University of Exeter
Sheffield University

Exeter Investigators:
Dr Phil Godsiff
Professor Roger Maull

At INDEX we provide practical insights into the effects of digital disruption in business and society, and deliver tools that offer measurable impact to drive strategic and operational advantages, in a time of rapid digital innovation and disruption.

This project allows us to work with partners across a consortium of businesses to provide insights into the potential impacts of digital disruption on their businesses.


The consortium of firms (led by Baxi) originate from a variety of industries: from gas boilers to food packaging and machine tools. They need to develop and exploit ‘servitisation’ – transitioning from selling products to selling services based around the core product. This project helps these firms to lead the way: disrupting traditional supply chains by creating diverse servitisation models based on digitally enhanced advanced services.

Furthermore, these diverse servitisation models carry additional benefits:

  • Enabling project partners to understand supply chain implications related to these business models
  • Delivering tools to maximise strategic advantage for these businesses whilst undergoing rapid digital innovation
  • Developing operational techniques that enable staff within consortia businesses to realise the opportunities presented


Awareness and adoption of servitization vary across industrial sectors. Pioneering examples do exist, though overall adoption still remains patchy.

However, servitization has demonstrated a significant potential to positively impact productivity. An exploratory project across 77 SMEs in the West Midlands has demonstrated that early adoption can stimulate growth in Gross Value Added (GVA) of £7,500/employee and productivity improvements by 16%.

This project delivers a digital demonstrator that will accelerate the adoption of servitization, not only within the business consortium but far beyond. This project enables a much broader suite of UK manufacturing firms to gain insight into servitisation, and understand how to adopt this within their business and supply chain. This will accelerate the early adoption of servitisation business models and increase gross value added in these critical sectors.