A recent trend in modern manufacturing companies is moving from products to services. Indeed, services allow creating new business opportunities and increasing the value perceived by the customers. At the same time, sustainability is a crucial aspect for industry, which pays more and more attention to realize efficient and sustainable solutions. The research challenge is defining a structured methodology to understand how to design for sustainability considering Product Service Systems (PSS) and evaluating the effect of shifting from products to services. While product sustainability can be assessed by several tools, sustainability of PSS is almost unexplored. Furthermore, PSS requires creating an extended value creation network. This paper defines an integrated product-service lifecycle and proposes a methodology to identify a set of KPIs for both PSS and products and to compare different use scenarios. It adopts a holistic approach to assess sustainability on the basis of the three main impacts: environmental, economical and social. The methodology is illustrated by means of an industrial case study focusing on water heaters; it analyses an innovative PSS "Hot water as a Service" supported by an extended network, and compares it with the traditional scenario based on product selling supported by a vertical supply-chain. The final aim is to evaluate the service benefits and to support company decision-making.
Design for Sustainability of Product-Service Systems in the Extended Enterprise
by Eugenia Marilungo; Margherita Peruzzini; Michele GermaniJan 1, 2013