Servitization means the adding of value to a product offering through service, and it has become an attractive strategy through which manufacturers can increase revenues without proportionally increasing costs. This paper reviews the status of the practice with reference to the agricultural machinery sector. It describes the benefits that could accrue to equipment manufactures and/or dealerships on the one hand, and end-users (i.e., farmers) on the other, using condition monitoring technology and other information technologies to support real-time health management, including maintenance and repair, of agricultural machinery in the field. A UK-based survey of nine agricultural original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) reveals that these organisations are not generally involved in providing direct repair service to farmers, and that most OEMs do not think that servitization of repair is a profitable strategy for them. Instead, they believe that this activity is best left to dealers. Two case studies of OEMs supporting complex agricultural machinery using different approaches to servitization, but both claiming good financial performance, are presented. The applicability of the UK results to the developing world is explored. It emerges that increased services rendered by OEMs, chiefly maintenance, and repair, could prove viable in a developing country such as Ghana if sufficient demand volume in constant stream could be created there and sustained, with all stakeholders showing commitment. The tools for design and factors for successful implementation of the servitization strategy are left for future work.
Keywords: Servitization, product-service system, agricultural machinery, maintenance and repair, prognostic health management