Iain McKechnie of the Advanced Services Group helps clients develop services-led strategies, improving circularity and outcomes for the businesses and their customers.
The market for services, including rental, subscriptions and ‘X-as-a-service’ is growing rapidly, both for business to business and business to consumer markets, and services can be a gamechanger for businesses looking to shrink their footprint and adopt circular strategies.
It’s all part of a shift from a culture of ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’, with services emerging as a way to provide more convenient, flexible options for customers, avoiding the burden and hassle of ownership. Meanwhile, businesses can benefit from the stability of recurring revenue, predictable income streams and easier financial planning; and improve sustainability by using resources more efficiently. And providing services helps businesses get closer to their customers, with many more opportunities for contact and dialogues, discovering more about what customers value, and how to improve things.
The Advanced Services Group are specialists in servitization research and practice, with work that is grounded in the latest academic research, real industry insight, business know-how and experience.
The Advanced Services Group helps manufacturing companies and technology innovators on their servitization journey to develop services-led strategies and ultimately transform their business model to compete through advanced services. ASG has worked with over 300 businesses, multinational companies and SMEs to develop their growth strategies through services.
Iain tells us a bit about what Advanced Services Group does, and which kind of sectors are starting to move towards service-based models. Iain then explains how companies can transition from selling products, to moving along what ASG calls the ‘Services Staircase’, developing different kinds of services to create value for their customers.
Iain talks about the kind of benefits these companies are seeing – and how this is better for their customers, too. We hear what typically holds companies back from switching to services, and how they might get started.
Iain shares a couple of diagrams from the resources on ASG’s website – the Transformation Roadmap and the Services Staircase, and you’ll find links to those in the shownotes.
International speaker, author and strategic advisor, Catherine Weetman helps people discover why circular, regenerative and fair solutions are better for people, planet – and prosperity.
Catherine’s award-winning book: A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business includes lots of practical examples and tips on getting started.
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Links we mention in the episode:
- Circular Economy Podcast on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/showcase/circular-economy-podcast/
- Circular Economy Podcast website: circulareconomypodcast.com
- Catherine Weetman on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/catherine-weetman-9419107/
- A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business – buy from any good bookseller, or direct from the publisher Kogan Page, which ships worldwide (free shipping to UK and US) https://www.koganpage.com/CircEcon2
- Interactive podcast index https://www.rethinkglobal.info/circular-economy-podcast-index/
- Rethink Global www.rethinkglobal.info
- Sign up to get the podcast player and shownotes for each new episode emailed to your inbox
Links for our guest:
- ASG website advancedservicesgroup.co.uk
- @TheASGroup – LinkedIn
- unlockyourinsight.co.uk – simple tool to test strategic bias towards services.
- businessmodelblueprint.co.uk – ASG ‘App’ to help businesses create their own business model.
- The Services Staircase; the Transformation Roadmap and other ASG resources: https://www.advancedservicesgroup.co.uk/research/publications/frameworks-tools/
Books, people and organisations we mentioned
- Tim Baines’ new book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Servitization-Strategy-Delivering-Customer-Centric-Innovation/dp/3031454251/
- Tim Baines’ previous book https://uk.bookshop.org/book/9781118585313
- Goodyear’s Proactive services https://www.goodyear.eu/en_gb/truck/tyre-management.html
Iain McKechnie LCGI DipMgt CMgr FCMI, Director of Strategic Partnerships, The Advanced Services Group, Aston Business School, UK.
At the Advanced Services Group, within Aston Business School, Iain leads on activities that bring new business models, manufacturers and academics together. Iain works with small & global businesses alike – those that are seeking to develop ‘X-as-a-Service’ where opportunities are identified that reduce waste and improve circularity by designing a new business model. Iain will talk about how this should be the driving force to improve ‘outcomes’ for customers and businesses alike.
Iain’s career began at the National Engineering Laboratory in Scotland as a professional engineer (20-years), which included 5-years working with the UK Government on R&D funding strategies for manufacturing firms in the UK. Since joining the Advanced Services Group in 2012, he has worked with over 300 manufacturing or technology-innovating firms to help them change their business model to take advantage of the benefits that servitization (adding services to support a product in use) brings to both manufacturer and customer alike. By creating a new business model, businesses are able to explore ways to extend the life of the ‘product’, reduce the use of resources or materials required and offer their customers alternative ways to ‘adopt services’.
Iain is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, holds post-graduate qualifications in management and, in 2016, was awarded ‘Freeman Citizen of Glasgow’ status for his work in the engineering and manufacturing sectors.
About The Advanced Services Group:
The Advanced Services Group are specialists in servitization research and practice. Our work is grounded in the latest academic research, real industry insight, business know-how and experience.
We help manufacturing companies and technology innovators on their servitization journey to develop services-led strategies and ultimately transform their business model to compete through advanced services. We have worked with over 300 businesses, multinational companies and SMEs to develop their growth strategies through services.
There are three pathways for you to choose from: as a member of one of our partnership groups; through our advisory services that are tailored to your organisation or in a DIY approach through our resources and training offers.
Playlist: getting started with the circular economy…
Want to know more about the what the circular economy really is, and how it can help your business? Here’s a playlist to help you get to grips with the concept, how it creates value, and the common myths (spoiler alert – it’s much more than recycling!)
- #1 What is the circular economy: A quick intro to explain what the circular economy is and why it’s important. We explore how it helps create better products and services, and at the same time helps to make a better world. I break it down into my 5 circular economy components, helping you think about each part of your business.
- #2 The linear economy and your risk checklist: We dig a bit deeper into the way we do business now, the linear economy, and why that’s creating problems for business, society and our living planet. Also, we’ll look at the risks that emerge from those big-picture issues, and how they might affect your organisation.
- #90 Does circular mean it’s sustainable? Does circular mean it’s sustainable? Catherine Weetman is worried that companies are using circular economy solutions to grow their business (and their footprints).
- #101 Circular is better for people, planet and profit! How three simple strategies can help you get started with circular and regenerative solutions that are better for people, planet and profit.
- #120 Priorities are changing: people find life is better when we care for and share things – circular economy strategies make that better for business, too.
And here’s Catherine’s guide: What is the circular economy?
Want to dig deeper?
Why not buy Catherine’s award-winning book, A Circular Economy Handbook: How to Build a More Resilient, Competitive and Sustainable Business. This comprehensive guide uses a bottom-up, practical approach, and includes hundreds of real examples from around the world, to help you really ‘get’ the circular economy. Even better, you’ll be inspired with ideas to make your own business more competitive, resilient and sustainable.
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Thanks to Belinda O’Hooley and Heidi Tidow, otherwise known as the brilliant, inventive and generous folk duo, O’Hooley & Tidow for allowing me to use the instrumentals from the live version of Summat’s Brewin’ as music for the podcast. You can find the whole track (inspired by the Copper Family song “Oh Good Ale”) on their album, also called Summat’s Brewin’. Or, follow them on Twitter.