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Service 4.0 is a term used for technologies and concepts used by service and support function organizations in order to provide great customer experience. It is a parallel concept to Industry 4.0


An application-oriented question on the topic along with responses can be seen below. The best answer was provided by Senthilkumar G on 15th May 2020


Applause for all the respondents - Pradeepan Sekar, Senthilkumar G, Satyajit Das, Ram Kumar Chaudhary, Raj Saxena

Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.


Q 261. While Industry 4.0 focuses on usage of new age technology in manufacturing, Service 4.0 focuses on doing the same to provide unparalleled customer experience in the service sector. What are the salient features of Service 4.0?



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Q 261. While Industry 4.0 focuses on usage of new age technology in manufacturing, Service 4.0 focuses on doing the same to provide unparalleled customer experience in the service sector. What are the salient features of Service 4.0?


Industry 4.0:

Industry 4.0 is the technology science driven and subset of fourth industry revolution. It encompasses areas which are not normally classified as an industry such as smart industry for instance.

Industry 4.0 is the trend towards automation, data exchange in manufacturing processes which include cyber physical systems (CPS), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, cognitive computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI).


Industry 4.0 Revolutions Timeline:




Industry 4.0 Drivers:

Business and Data analytics are their core capabilities, Industry 4.0 is mainly driven by:

i)  Digitization of products and service offered by respective product owned companies.

ii) Digitization and integration of vertical and horizontal value chains.

iii)Digitization business and business process models and customer access


Industry 4.0 Impact and Evolve the Process in Manufacturing:

Scenario: To understand the impact of Industry 4.0 solutions, True transformation happens when all unique challenges and targeting pain points from Manufacturing Personnel in IIoT Ecosystem. The same kind of scenarios are applicable in IoT and Cognitive Computing as well.

a.                 Maintenance Engineer/Maintenance Manager

b.                 Manufacturing Operator/Process Operator

c.                  Plant Engineer/Plant Manager

d.                 Technician, Diagnostics, Repair Installations


The four- Step road map for Industry 4.0:




Industry 4.0 Challenges:

The following challenges are identified in implementation of Industry 4.0.

Economic Challenge:

I)         High Economic costs

II)       Business model adaptation

III)     Unclear economic benefits/excessive investment


Social Challenge:

i)         Privacy concerns

ii)       Surveillance and distrust

iii)      Threat of redundancy of corporate IT department


Political Challenge:

i)         Lack of regulation, standards and forms of certifications

ii)       Unclear legal/regulatory issues and data security


Organizational Challenge:

i)         IT security issues.

ii)       Reliability and stability.

iii)      Integrity.

iv)      Lack of adequate skill-sets to expedite the transition towards the fourth industrial revolution.


Service 4.0:

Service 4.0 is a collective term for technologies and concepts of service and support function organizations which based on new disruptive technologies concepts as mentioned below.

i)   Big Data and Mobility

ii)  Internet of Things (IoT)

iii) Internet Services


Service 4.0 is an equal capable and similar concept of Industry 4.0 which delivering excellent transformation and its services along with digital capability to various customer in this decade.

Digital transformation with the above disruptive technologies is quite challenge now-a-days to evolve but they will gain sustainable competitive advantage after Service 4.0 transformation that helps companies meet their customer needs.

Successful implementation of Service 4.0 provides the basis for a step change in performance including customer satisfaction beyond traditional lean improvement and reduction in overall costs.


Business Strategies:

The following important business strategies are giving best outcome to Industry 4.0 & Service 4.0.  

i)  Strong Customization of Products

ii) Autonomous – Self Optimization, Tuning, Configuration

iii)Self-Diagnosis, Cognition and Intelligent Support


Service 4.0 Key Benefits:

The following key benefits are identified for Service 4.0 Transformation:

i)   Greater Flexibility and Adaptability

ii)  Faster, Speed

iii) High Productivity

iv) Better Quality

v)  Performance Improvement

vi) Reduction in Costs.


Service 4.0 Offering:

The following important services offered by service providers based on customer needs.

1.     Pro Active.

2.     Integrated, Bundled Package

3.     Customized, Human Centered

4.     Data Driven


Assessment or Evolve before Service 4.0 Transformation:

A transformation must address the following four major elements.

1.     Service Providers Operating Model

2.     The Organization

3.     People

4.     IT


For Successful Service 4.0 transformation, companies must be in a position to evolve or assess the following:

i)                   Employees/contractors/vendors

ii)                 Hiring New Talents with capabilities of Digital Technologies such Big Data, Cloud and Cyber security and Safety skills.

iii)               Pilots

iv)               Incremental or Agile development approach

v)                 Customer focus or Enabling Process

vi)               Service Transformation initiative


Salient futures of Service 4.0:

The following technologies enable the digital transformation and it promote the greater efficiency throughout the value chain.

i)                   Big Data and Analytics.

ii)                 RPA – Robotic Process Automation.

iii)               Bionic Computing. 

iv)               Internet of Things.

v)                 Cloud Computing.

vi)               Cognitive Computing.

vii)             Smart Devices. 

viii)           Virtualization.


Industry 4.0 and Service 4.0 are similar concepts and applied to value chain. It promotes greater performance, cost savings and high quality based on customer/consumer needs.  








Thanks and Regards,

Senthilkumar Ganesan,

Email: senthillak@gmail.com

Mobile: +91-7598124052.

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Industry 4.0:

           Industry 4.0 comprises of many concepts of current digital trends that can be broadly summarized as Cyber physical system, Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, Cognitive computing and cloud based computing. Industry 4.0 is often called as the digitalization or digital transformation of manufacturing process.


               Industry 4.0 enables new way of production, reduces repetitive monotonous human intervention, value creation and real time decision making.




Service 4.0:

                        Service 4.0 is similar concept to ‘Industry 4.0’ or ‘Fourth industrial revolution’ which is applied in a value chain process. Service 4.0 is described as the collection of recent technological concepts such as Big data Analytics, Internet of things, Machine Learning, Artificial intelligence which helps the service or support functions.

Service 4.0 is applied in Financial, transactional, insurance, real estate, trade, communications, supporting functions, administration to provide greater experience to the customers who are provided with the service by the recent technological applications


                       The goal of Service 4.0 is to improve the service efficiency and effectiveness, and to benefit the service users. Service 4.0 can transform impossible to possible.


Dynamic Customer expectation:

                        Customers expectation can never be same and its keep changing. Especially in service industries, customers requirement in terms of service are dynamic expectation and it evolves over the time and keep changing.


                        In Banking, early stages of 90s, customer didn’t want the waiting time, if the transaction happens without any waiting time in the bank, then it was called as good service, then evolution of ATM cards, net banking, Mobile banking happened and resulted in situation that one need not require to visit bank anymore to make any transactions. Money has been digitalized and real time transaction is in place.  Even in digitalization of transaction, OTP has been replaced with QR codes and so many must come.


               To tackle that dynamic expectations of the customer and to survive in the competitive world, it become particularly important to provide unparalleled customer experience in service industry and then the journey towards service 4.0 begun.



Features of Service 4.0:

1.   Shorter Lead time: Prioritization and completion of tasks without having much wait time and the decision or fulfillment of the service with lesser time.

2.   Real time Optimization: Decision will be taken immediately with the help of machine learning and Artificial intelligence.

3.   Autonomous and decentralized decision making: Reduces the human intervention to the greater extent

4.   Information transparency: Any information / service status can be tracked at real time

5.   Eliminates monotonous repetitive tasks and mistakes, errors and/or slips.

6.   Improves customer experience

7.   Large source of data will be monitored and can be make use of it in future decisions.

8.   IoS: Internet of services maintain all the requirements in software application in the cloud which automates the process, requirement such as software, platform, UI path and database in a single cloud and they communicate to each other.

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Service 4.0: Transforming Customer Interactions


Service 4.0 is a collate term for technologies and idea of service and support function of the organizations; it is based on new disruptive technological concepts, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services. It is almost similar concept to Industry 4.0 and applied to value chain. The supporters of Service 4.0 profess that it is a vital chance for service companies to make a jump ahead in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, and also an opportunity for service users to discover and benefit from new features, which are impossible to be delivered before.


There are two major sectors in the economy:


1.      Manufacturing Sector : The goods produced in manufacturing sector includes


(i)               Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing

(ii)              Mining

(iii)             Construction

(iv)             Manufacturing


2.      Service Sector: The service producing sector includes


(i)                Transportation, Communication and Utilities

(ii)              Wholesale Trade

(iii)             Retail Trade

(iv)             Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

(v)              Public Administration


Service operations are always radically challenged by the invention of new technologies and digital innovations, which have reappraise the standard for customer experience and efficiency and therefore Service 4.0 represents a transformation that helps companies meet consumer needs.

Nowadays Customers expect service reciprocity that is simpler or easy, natural and happen in real time. Due to advance technological configuration Service 4.0 makes it possible for the large number of service provider companies across the globe to meet the customer or client demand. Some key benefits of service 4.0 are greater flexibility, faster internet speed, higher productivity and superior quality.





The main features that enabled the transformation of service 4.0 and promote greater efficiency:


1.      Big Data and Analytics: It will evolve deeper insight of customer or client actions, preferences and passage.

2.      Bionic Computing: It will start interact naturally with the virtual agents and services.

3.      Ubiquitous connectivity and The Internet of Things: It will create an continuing connection

4.      Cloud Computing: It can handle now large volume of data.

5.      Cognitive Computing: It can generate computerized models to simulate the human thought process in complex situations.

6.      Smart Devices: It can develop apps that can be utilized in high performance devices.

7.      Robotic Process Automation: It can use software with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities to handle complex tasks.

8.      Virtualization: It can use software that simulates hardware functionality in order to create a virtual system.

9.      Augmented Reality: It is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.


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Benchmark Six Sigma Expert View by Venugopal R

While the world moves towards Industry 4.0, it is expected that the associated facets of  business would also have to evolve accordingly. Most of us would already be informed about the key elements of Industry 4.0 viz: Autonomous robots, Simulation, System Integration, IOT, Cyber Security, Cloud computing, Additive Manufacturing, Augmented reality, Big Data and so on. The evolution of Quality 4.0 and Service 4.0 emerge as followers.


Service, in economics is defined as an intangible commodity, an economic activity where the buyer does not generally, except by exclusive contract, obtain exclusive ownership of what is being purchased.


Though there are several discussions about the application of the new age technologies for Service 4.0, we can expect significant development in this area during the days to come. The service expectations of a modern day customer can be quite a large and complex list; the ones listed below are just a few:

Service Interactions – Straight forward and Spontaneous

Expect that their individual behaviors, preferences and expectations are understood to an extent.

  • Diverse interaction capabilities with different devices and multi-channel accessibility
  • Service status and remote monitoring
  • Quick response to variety of service demands including online and remote resolutions where applicable
  • Round the clock - 24/7 availability
  • Real time Transparency
  • Intelligent enough to proactively prompt possible customer options
  • Predictable and quick response patterns
  • Response that’s humane and not appearing artificial
  • Service continuity with portability of historical data

No matter whichever Industry it be, one has to realize that the modern day customer is well informed and is very literate about the technological developments and facilities available in present times. They will be able to sense a service level that hasn't been updated with the changing world and will prefer to move with those who have adopted and advanced with technology.


Many of the technologies that are referred as part of the Industry 4.0 are applicable to Service 4.0 with specific intents.

  1. Big Data Analytics – To study large amounts of data that help understand individual behaviors, preferences and expectations.
  2. I.O.T. – To help connect between devices and provide remote servicing / monitoring
  3. Cloud storage and computing – This will compliment with point no.1 and for various other purposes that require massive data
  4. Augmented reality – To provide real-world connection to customers while using digitalized approaches
  5. Cognitive computing – To simulate variety of human thinking using self learning algorithms and NLP.
  6. Automation methods – To reduce efforts from customer for data gathering and for repetitive  & rule based services
  7. Bionic computing – For natural intractability with virtual agents, devices and services
  8. Virtualization – To reduce dependency of specific locations, hardware, software or devices to carry out a service

Service revolution 4.0 is expected to re-define customer expectations in terms of speed, flexibility, efficiency, quality, and customer experiences.

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Service 4.0 objective is to provide unparalleled customer experience, hence the salient features for the same are also derived from the very same objective to reduce customer effort, improve customer convenience, increase presence of services/provisioning of services, reduced cost, personalization of services. There are multiple aspects of services & service delivery which are getting transformed via technology which in totality is getting termed as service 4.0.

Below is a directional/non-comprehensive list of  technologies enabling service 4.0 -

Big data  The vast volume of data that is getting generated via different mediums which enables to provide richer perspective about the customer to service provider. Example social media posts showing interest on specific pictures can trigger a vacation offer or recent card transaction history in hospital can trigger an insurance call ;  Internet of services/things : Wearable gadgets monitoring your health by generating data regarding your health parameters resulting in proactive health management ; Robotic/Intelligent automation : Resulting in service effort, time to service and cost to service reduction; Cloud computing : Ubiquity of applications, data, reduce cost of storage and subscription with ability to scale up an down in a short span; Augmented reality : Transforming the level of assistance to perform a service for service operator or customer (e.g., new house design) ; Virtualization : Reducing dependency (e.g., virtual meetings or halo rooms providing near similar in person experience)

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1. Productivity improvement by organizing the maintenance activity of assets according to its current condition and this will help eliminating unwanted/unplanned works.

2. Consistency & accessibility/availability - eliminating significant downtime will help increasing availability and also this helps minimizing operational risk by predictive analysis and transparency of the system condition. 

3. Values - Resource planning, Material and Predict maintenance, Execution of Maintenance activities is planned and enhanced routine.

4. Asset Management - Maintaining a good records, Enhancing life of asset by doing data driven root cause analysis and focusing on Daily/weekly maintenance routine, Upgrading assets as when it requires or based on the current health situation (results coming based on root cause analysis).

5. Safety - While doing maintenance activities in planned way or based of defined routines, certainly it improves safety at workplace. Use more visual indicator to show planned activities or defined routine for awareness.



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While all published answers are correct, Senthilkumar G has provided the correct answer to this question. 


Also review the answer provided by Mr Venugopal R, Benchmark Six Sigma's in-house expert.

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