Embracing the Next-Gen Change—This is How Manufacturing Industry Is Carving and Scaling Subscription Solutions

The subscription business model has already taken the market by storm in a decade, only. It is now the real authority in the economy. SaaS, IT, computing, and services were the few industries that had adopted the subscription-based business model and grooved the change across the industries. They were the first who had seen the big waves of change tiding towards the usage-based billing business models with the proliferation of technology and the alteration in consumer behaviours towards the access of the products or services pertaining to their needs and wants.

As a way of the future economy, the subscription-based business model has also been inducing the revolution in the industrial and manufacturing sector. The room for the subscriptions is getting bigger and better while prevailing the vision that every machine, equipment, hardware, and instrument can now be offered on a recurring basis and can keep the customers hooked to the company.

In practice, though the picture is different. However, the appeal of the subscription business is forcing the manufacturing industry to deploy recurring solutions for their business as well. But the question remains the same how does the old-school find the subscription solutions for the industry on a larger scale?

Some of the leaders of the manufacturing industry has already adopted the subscription model in its original or hybrid form, and are all set to hit the new milestones with the stable customer base and reliable streaming of recurring revenue. Some of the prominent manufacturing subscriptions examples are:


  • Rental Car Subscriptions
  • Automobile, electrical appliances, or heavy machinery services subscriptions
  • Airlines subscriptions for cheaper flights
  • Health or fitness -as-a-service subscriptions
  • Home maintenance subscriptions
  • Consumables subscriptions
  • On-Premise Subscriptions for Hardware and Software
  • Data Center Subscriptions


The article encapsulates how the manufacturing industry is harmonizing with the subscription business model and how are they dealing with the impediments on their way to the future of the subscription-based manufacturing economy. We would also throw light over a few of the manufacturing sectors outshining the industry.

Also Read: Transitioning to SaaS Subscription Model—Needs, Challenges, Strategies, Monetization, Management, And All It Takes To Move To A Recurring Revenue Model

Ownership vs Usership—What’s Honing the Next-Generation of Manufacturing?

Ownerships was not only the ideology of the economy, it was an age that has now come to an end with the rise of the subscription economy and technological advancements.

Studies suggest that services that let customers access the product on a recurring basis are gaining popularity and acceptability and decreasing the interest and inclination towards ownership. The next generation is more attracted towards getting access to their needs and wants as soon as they can and they even are concluding ownership as a burden—a load that inflicts the risks, responsibilities, and liabilities of loss, malfunctioning, obsolescence, and maintenance.

We have reached an era where different generations are exhibiting the same pattern towards their interest in gaining access to the products or services—the usership trend.

The usership trend is the consumer leaning towards gaining access to the products or services available on a recurring basis, such as rentals or subscriptions, instead of buying the products.

GenZ and Millennials have already abandoned the old-fashioned ownership trends that require more money, weight to keep things forever, and bear the costs and pain of maintenance, and spend more after every now and then when the owned thing lose its efficiency and become obsolete.

From streaming services to telecom to health and education to car-sharing subscriptions, there is no section of the economy that is not honing in for the next-generation economy based on subscriptions. Not only the B2C industry, but even the B2B manufacturing industry is also flipping the wings for their flight to the subscription business model.

The New Notions of the Subscription-Based Manufacturing Industry

From electronics and smart gadgets to tools and machines to automobiles and other heavy machinery, the manufacturing sector is reinventing the survival solutions for themselves and are formulating ways to stay relevant with recurring business concept.

Here are the different ways, manufacturing is greasing the wheels of industry to find subscription solutions across the sector.

  • Products on a Recurring Basis

Small-scale manufacturing companies, as well as companies producing products and tools, of everyday use, have shown a more positive attitude towards adopting the subscription changes on their own terms without renouncing their ownership-based business model. Dollar Shave, subscription boxes, and smart gadgets technology are leading on the lists.

Subscription box businesses are giving wings to a wide range of products from different interests of everyday life to reach out to their customers on a recurring basis. These include wardrobe, cosmetic, medicine, cooking, baking, or sanitation supplies, pet supplies, art and crafts, and many many more.

  • Pay-As-You-Go Model

The pay-as-you-go model allows the manufacturer to allows the consumer to use the product and bill them based on their usage or consumption. It facilitates the manufacturer to make the most of the profit from the product while allowing more than one customer to use the product and pay in accordance with their usage.

Machines, automobiles, home, office, and other appliances, tools, health and medical equipment, and different other products can be made available on a recurring basis.

  • EaaS

Equipment-as-a-Service or EaaS is a way for the manufacturing and industrial sectors to make their ways to the subscription economy. It should be understood in a different context than of Software-as-a-Service or SaaS. SaaS allows users to use the software as the cloud platform on a recurring base, in contrast, EaaS is not about leasing the equipment. It is more about the maintenance of the equipment subscriptions.

EaaS offers consumers to take advantage of the mandatory maintenance and repair services as subscriptions where the supplier monitors, maintains and repairs the equipment in top-operating conditions until the consumer is using the product whether as an owned or subscribed product and maximize uptime.

One such example of the EaaS is Porsche’s maintenance and insurance subscription that allows subscribers to drive any of the available cars for any length of the period they want. If a car is due for service, the subscription service picks it up and replaces it with a similar car.

  • IIoT

IoT or the Internet of Things is the network of interconnected devices or physical objects with sensors, software, and other technologies and exchange data between and with other devices and systems using the internet.

Industrial IoT or IIoT is making ways for EaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS to work together and smarter. On the consumer side, all are available in one place, whereas, it is making sense for the smart subscription revolution that is all set to take over the economy.

IoT connects the equipment, its service, supplier, and consumers with the service to monitor the equipment or product, its usage, and maintains or repairs it when it causes any friction, anyhow. This model must provide the supplier with adequate cash flow, the necessary warranty and insurance safeguards, and a way to implement billing based on usage.

Also Read: 10 Core Reasons Subscription Model is Taking Over the Vertical Market & Here’s What You Can Do To Adapt the Latest Change For A Thriving Business In Future

How Manufacturing Industry Can Shift to the Subscriptions

The industrial and manufacturing industry is still hesitant to shift to the subscription industry. Before leaping into the arena of the subscription, there are a few concepts that are needed to understand to make this inevitable shift happen and successful. Some of these are:

  • Service is the Mantra of the Subscription Model—Package Machine with Service

SaaS thrived with the subscription model. It happened because the SaaS vendor instead of selling the digital asset keep the customers with them by offering them their keep and maintenance services, together, with the software.

The manufacturing industry should shift its focus to the service in association with the machines. It is most suitable for smart appliances, heavy machinery, automobiles, and some others. Packaging machines with the services as EaaS is a way to subscription-based manufacturing.

  • Align Traditional Business Affairs with Recurring Business Relationships

The old-school manufacturing sector is so attracted to ownership that they may not be able to switch to subscription, solely, except in any near-future. Combining traditional business affairs with recurring business relationships is the mid-way solution for many of the suppliers of automobiles, home and office appliances, medical and tech tools and machinery suppliers, etc.

They can formulate a hybrid business model and offer their products and the associated services, together.

  •  Subscription Is All About Keeping Customers Committed—Focus on Their Needs and Wants

The subscription business model can be said the consumer-based service model. It is based on long and strong relationships with the customers so they can remain the potential source of the recurring revenue without spending, again and again, to attract them to part of the ecosystem.

Customer retention is the key to the subscription business. Forget about what you have, start thinking about what your customers need and how you can fulfil their needs and wants. In the subscription business, service is primary and the product is secondary. Customers would stay until they have been facilitated with great services and the value of the money.

Make customers lifetime members—leverage data insights and learn more about the customers’ behaviours, spending habits, and usage attitude and carve the product as per their needs.

The recurring billing or subscription management offers more detailed insights into the customer lifecycle and helps them become lifetime partners as a potential and ensured source of recurring revenue. Using the subscription management software with AI-enables subscription metrics can peddle a whole new customer-centric approach for the manufacturers.

  • Translate Free-Trails Concepts into the Realm of Manufacturing

Manufacturing is not SaaS. It cannot afford freemium and free-trials of the physical products. Physical product cost more than digital assets and are not favourable for freemium subscriptions. Instead, the associated services with them can be offered as free-trials or the sample products’ trials for a smaller term can be offered in the realm of manufacturing while replacing the freemium success of SaaS.

  • Subscription is not One-Size-Fits-All—Explore the Right Recipe of Subscription for Your Manufacturing Niche

It is the flexibility and customizability of the subscription model that makes it the future of commerce and the economy. Unlike SaaS, it holds more for the industrial and manufacturing sectors.

Subscription is for sure not one-size-fits-all for the manufacturing industry. They can articulate the best subscription business model for their niche. It can be recurring billing per consumption model, EaaS, IoT, or any of the model that works best with their products and the associated services.

Also Read: Here Is Your Definitive Guide to Running Your Subscription-based Business Model and Building Strong Growth Model with SubscriptionFlow