REVIEW New Business for Old Europe
Selling products used to be the standard way of doing business Traditionally it is left to the user to transform the purchase of a product into something that fulfils effectively a final user need Today two streams of research business management and sustainability normally with very distinct perspectives on the world have surprisingly converged to form a common conclusion selling products is old fashioned business Companies should switch their focus to selling need fulfilment satisfaction or experiences Or in other words selling integrated solutions or product servicesThe business management literature argues that by focusing on the integrated final client needs and delivering integrated solutions fulfilling these needs companies will be able to improve their position in the value chain enhance added value of their offering and improve their innovation potential In a business world where many products are becoming eually well performing commodities this strategy is one of the ways to avoid a sheer competition on price a type of competition that Europe never can win with emerging and low cost economies such as China In that sense product services can mean new business for old EuropeThe sustainability knowledge stream argues that need focused solutions could be inherently sustainable than products Product services could offer the value of use instead of the product itself and decrease the environmental load in two ways First companies offering the service would have all the incentives to make the product system efficient as they get paid by the result Second consumers would be encouraged to alter their behav.
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Iour as they gain insight into all the costs involved with the useUntil today the connections and interchange between the two research streams have been uite limited The uestion of whether product services truly are the avenue to a sustainable world is still under discussion This book aims to develop a systematic view on this issueThe potential of product services to enhance competitiveness and contribute to sustainable development prompted the EU to invest heavily in the theme under the EU's 5th Framework Programme FP5; 1997 2002 A variety of research and development projects in the field were supported under the umbrella of the Sustainable Product Development Network SusProNet These included MEPSS Methodology Product Service Systems; Home Services; HiCS Highly Customerised Solutions; Prosecco Product Service Co design; and Innopse Innovation Studio and exemplary developments for Product ServiceThe projects were undertaken by a mix of European research institutions and companies including Orange Philips and Nokia Some of these projects focused on developing methods that could help industries change their output from a product to a service Others focused on the development of new product services or solutions HiCS Prosecco Innopse and yet others tried to analyze under which circumstances product services are likely to be implemented and accepted by consumers Home Services One project focused on dissemination of the concept to SMEs Lean Services Other projects focused purely on new product service development such as Brainfridge an intelligent fridge managing its supply chain ASP NET application service prov.
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Iders Protex intelligent enzymes and IPSCON receivers for wireless telephones New Business for Old Europe brings together the key outputs from all of these groups to present a state of the art collection on product service development prospects and implications for competitiveness and sustainabilityThe book has a number of aims First it attempts to bridge the gap between business and sustainability literature to lead to a better founded understanding of the business drivers for embarking on product service development and its relation with sustainability and competitiveness Second the book reviews the large amount of studies that have developed toolkits methods and approaches that can support marketers product developers and strategists in business to develop product services selects the best practice approaches and analyses any gapsThird the book examines what opportunities there are for product service development in a variety of key areas including base materials information and communication technologies offices food and households Each chapter in this section discusses the area developments that will stimulate or hinder the market opportunities for product services product service examples and typical implementation challenges for product services in that area These chapters serve as a uick introduction for companies interested in developing product services in a specific area Fourth the book translates all the lessons into suggested approaches for product service development by companies Annexes include a lightweight product service development manual and an alphabetical list of useful underlying tool.