The Service Community: Bringing Service Leaders Together

Jul 20, 2020 • The Service Community

The Service Community is a completely independent non-profit organisation whose sole purpose is to help share knowledge and best-practice amongst service professionals within the UK. We host two meetings per year which are held at the offices of one of our members during which we will share a selection of presentations from community members as well as engage in peer-to-peer discussion groups and industry networking. 

The Service Community is run by the industry for the industry in a sponsor-free environment that allows for productive and engaging discussion with our peers from a wide variety of industry sectors but always focused on the key issues we face as service leaders. 

Membership to the Service Community and attendance to our meetings is free of charge for service professionals but registration is required. To find out more contact


Details of the Next Service Community Meet-Up: 

27th October 2020, Henley Business School

In these special times I am glad to say that we can confirm that the agenda for the 27th October will stay unchanged although I am sure that the impact of COVID will creep into the discussions. The event is still at the Henley Business School and for the moment we have decided to limit attendees to 30 people. 

This is the first time we have been hosted by an international UK SME. MCFT are a Maintenance provider of commercial kitchen equipment, with customers in the UK and Middle East and have a Royal Warrant for services to the Queen.  We are delighted to be hosted by MCFT as this shows the diversity of the Service Community and why attendees get real insights at every event. In addition to hearing at how MCFT "sell" the value of their services, Cambridge University will be sharing research on Blockchain in 

Service, Gauselmann will look at how the IoT is now a fundamental service tool in the gaming machine industry, and Tim Bennet from Rolls Royce will give us the Customer's perspective on purchasing services for a production environment.

The Service Community creates discussions and insights that are far deeper than most conferences, due to the informal and intimate nature of our events.  This is because we are a community in the true sense of the word, run by volunteers, with no sponsors, no exchange of money, no legal entity no hidden agenda's, just real people talking about real things motivated by a desire to learn.

If you would like to attend the meeting, please sign-up using this link  



  • 10.30 Registration and networking
  • 11.00 Welcome
  • 11.05 MCFT: The story of an UK SME leveraging services across the world
  • 12.00 'Blockchain enabling customer order management' - Dr Veronica Martinez, Cambridge University
  • 12.45 Lunch & Networking
  • 13.15 Discussion Cafe: 3 topics picked by attendees, facilitated by Service Community
  • 14.10 Leveraging the IoT in Gaming Equipment - Chris Leather - Technical Director at Praesepe, a Gauselmann Group company (Due to Covid to be confirmed)
  • 15.00 Networking Break
  • 15.20 Meet the customer - Buying Services from a plant management perspective - Tim Bennet - Rolls Royce Manufacturing Services Executive (Due to Covid to be confirmed)
  • 16.00 Meeting End


Notes from  our most recent meeting: 

On the 16th October 2019, The Service Community was hosted by Atlas CopCo at their Innovation Centre, Deeside.  With over 35 Service professionals, the conference room was packed in what is a fantastic facility. At the Innovation Centre you can see the latest technologies in fastening and automation in action. For example the self piercing riveting systems that enable assembly of aluminium car bodies that are now so important in the push to electric vehicles.

The day which started at 11am had five very different discussions, all looking at Services in Industry through different lens’ and perspectives.

The first discussion was led by our host  Ian Cockett IAS Business Line manager – Service.  Ian gave us a great overview of how Service is organised in this multinational, multi-product organisation. In particular how they empower local managers to adapt service products to the local customer needs, but at the same time have a standard service portfolio that enables a consistent value proposition to be proposed,  especially across global key accounts. He also talked about the key challenges service faces in terms of how to create the Service Super-person who is multi-skilled and customer focused. We gained an insight into how Atlas Copco is beginning to use data to enhance performance and key into their customer’s Industrie 4.0 strategy.

Then Alex Bours and Henk Jonker from DiManEx led a discussion on how additive manufacturing has the capability to disrupt many Service Supply Chains. After a presentation of the different components of additive manufacturing, which went well beyond 3D printing, the attendees split into smaller groups to discuss the potential impact of this technology on their own businesses. What I learned from the discussion is that Additive Manufacturing is fast becoming part of the supply chain landscape. The key being to figure out the value to the customer or the OEM, and then working backwards towards choosing the parts and Additive technology that can create most value for both customer and supplier. Here is there presentation and some of the points captured during the discussions.

After lunch Iain Crosley – Managing Director of  Hosokawa UK went into some considerable detail of how as an equipment OEM they have combined remote connectivity and advanced analytics to improve the throughput of their customers processes. He talked about how they have used it to accelerate the growth of their own contract manufacturing service business as well as developing a whole new business market by offering this knowhow as the Gen 4 software product. Iain gave a particularly valuable piece of insight into digitising the Install base and Back-office processes through his five ‘P’ checklist

  • People: Have your people developed a data driven mindset
  • Process: Have your processes moved with technology
  • Plant: Has your plant layout and infrastructure enabled digitisiation of processes
  • Product: Are your products designed to optimise the use of data
  • Profit: How are you using data to create profit

On the theme of digital, Martin Summerhayes till recently of Fujitsu, gave us a real world insight into how to use advanced Analytics to solve service problems in the rail industry. Essentially this was how to increase the customer satisfaction of a mobile ticketing solution. Having heard about the detailed problem solving process, the attendees reflected on how analytics could improve their service business. I know from my own perspective I took away 3 clear lessons:

  1. Be very clear on the measure of success, whether that be a KPI or a specific measurable outcome.
  2. You do need people with the analytical capability to avoid over simplifying the analysis which leads to erroneous conclusions. A good example would be to take an average of an average
  3. Always check the analysis with detailed interviews of people involved with the problem and be meticulous in your observation. Real insight often comes from mixing the Qualitative and Quantative analysis

And finally we were very lucky to have Phil Wardle, writer of PAS280 for the British Standards Institute. Titled “Through-life engineering services – Adding business value through a common framework – Guide” this is a comprehensive document on how to manage a Servitised business model. Written for large asset users by leading thinkers at Rolls Royce, BAE, MOD and Babcock, it is biased towards Aerospace and Defence, but can be applied to all service business big and small. One just has to look past the jargon and take a different view on the risks to determine the key activities.  After an initial description of the PAS, we had a discussion on how it could be applied to SME and other industrial segments. The fit was good especially in the planning phase. You can download the PAS for free at this link which usually costs 99GBP or down load the presentation here

Many thanks to Oracle for hosting the Service Community in their Customer Centre at Reading. Our next event is provisionally planned for the 3rd of October so perhaps put a place holder in your diary.

If you would like to contribute a presentation or your facilities, please let us know by contacting Nick on

The Service Community is an independent non-profit organisation that Field Service News is proud to partner with and help promote. However, the Service Community is not affiliated with Field Service News and this page is donated for free to help them communicate with their members.