Two pieces in the most recent Economist made me aware of how much revenue many manufacturers bring in from their maintenance and support of their products. One article mentioned the leading elevator (lift) manufacturers: UTC’s Pratt & Whitney, Kone, a ThyssenKrupp division, and Schindler. They make elevators but they also keep them running and program them, which have become important and profitable services. Another article covered the famed Mittelstand of Germany. “Many of them get the bulk of their revenues from service rather than from products. Hako, which makes cleaning equipment, generates only 20% of its revenue from sales of its machines.”
The largest industry by far in my General Counsel Metrics global benchmark survey is manufacturing, with 116 participants. If there were data for many of them on the split between earnings from product as compared to services, we would understand legal staffing and spending more insightfully (See my post of March 2, 2010: industry benchmarks with 8 references.). Meanwhile the “industry” feels slippery.