DESIGNING SERVICE-CENTRIC PRODUCT-SERVICE SYSTEMS
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Product-service systems (PSS) have shown immense benefits to manufacturers, service providers, society, environment and consumers alike. Businesses are shifting towards servitizing their products and productizing their services to achieve greater customer satisfaction and competitive edge. However, PSS tends to be designed from the manufacturer’s perspective rather than that of the customer’s (Everhartz, Maiwald, & Wieseke, 2014). This is despite the increasing push by researchers towards service-centric design which focuses on customer value co-creation as defined in Service-Dominant Logic (Tan, Matzen, McAloone, & Evans, 2010; Vargo & Lusch, 2008a). PSS is also expected to satisfy customers’ evolving demands (Thomas, Walter, & Loos, 2008). Thus, we seek to answer the question: “How to design service-centric PSS that can continually adapt to customers’ dynamic needs?” We followed Systematic Literature Review (SLR) methodology to explore the extant PSS design practices. We found that (1) PSS definitions are numerous, diverse and at times conflicting; (2) service-centric design method for PSS is nascent; (3) customer value co-creation process in PSS is underexplored; and (4) the lifecycle approach is the most holistic and overarching PSS design method and other narrower-focused methods tend to fit within the stages of it. Our SLR analysis and resulting theoretical propositions contributed to (a) a new integrated PSS definition accentuating the customer value co-creation requirement; (b) a new meta-model of PSS in line with its definition explicating the service-centred activities performed by the “actor-network” (or ecosystem) of stakeholders and PSS functional components; (c) a meta-model of the PSS design method capable of adapting to evolving customer needs, incorporating the PSS lifecycle and customer-value cocreation consistent with SDL and actor-network theory. Our contributions would improve PSS managers’ insights on how customer value-in-use would be dynamically co-created contingent on the customer’s business/social context. These insights would enable PSS managers to design appropriate business models to align with the customers’ dynamic needs. Managers, however, would need to create new ways to organise and share knowledge, resources and skills with partners and customers, and to shift the stakeholders’ mindset towards service-orientation.
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