Business leaders are getting smarter about looking beyond product sales alone to increase revenue. Now, it’s important to wrench revenue from recurring service contracts to fix and maintain those products.
A close partnership between leaders in service, sales and marketing is one strategy to increase service revenues. GE, it seems, is taking a different tack: Beginning next month, Beth Comstock, GE’s chief marketing officer, will also oversee the company’s lighting division. Comstock says she sees the new role as a chance to inject fresh ideas and technological innovation into one of GE’s oldest divisions — and to reinvent GE Lighting as a services business, instead of a pure product business.
GE Lighting dates to the days of Thomas Edison and makes $3 billion annually, according to Fortune. But the lighting industry is changing quickly with the move toward LED bulbs and the demand for connected devices. The division has already made its foray into the connected future with products such as GE-Link, a connected light bulb that users can control from an app.
But Comstock is eyeing an even bigger prize. By riding the trend of connected devices, and partnering with innovative technology startups, Comstock wants to open new revenue sources. One prime area? Service contracts for commercial and government buildings. As Comstock tells Fortune, new technologies mean “lighting becomes a service business.”
A similar transformation is happening across other GE business units as the company pursues its ambitions for the “Industrial Internet,” GE’s term for a world of connected devices and products. A connected future will have significant impacts on entire industries, field service included. If those changes can make the light bulb industry a service business, what’s next?