A newly released survey of industrial machinery manufacturers suggests that those companies could utilize post-sale service to generate additional revenue growth.

According to the poll — commissioned by UPS and conducted by IDC Manufacturing Insights in March — 78 percent of small and mid-size machinery producers said that their customers' service expectations are increasing, while more than one-third said that a majority of their profits come from after-sales service.

Only 12 percent of respondents, however, said that replacement parts and service differentiates their businesses from competitors; most companies instead focused on the development and deployment of new products.

"For many, enhancing service after the sale could be a way to differentiate from the competition and offer potential for revenue growth," said Brian Littlefield, UPS' director of industrial manufacturing and distribution.

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The poll also found that 56 percent of participating manufacturers managed after-sales service in-house and did not plan to make changes. The remaining 44 percent use or planned to use third-party companies for long-term equipment maintenance.

Participating companies reported annual revenue between $10 million and $50 million and conducted more than half of their business in North America.