What is a Product Service System?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2019
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Product service systems is a task oriented logical system that has an end result of stabilizing the relationship between production and consumption. The flow of logic involved with the product service system can be applied to both tangible and intangible production processes. This means that applying the principles of a product service system can take place in both the business world and in other applications, such as the world of academics. As long as creation takes place, and there is someone who functions as the recipient of the creation, the process of a product service system can be applied.

The product service system, or PSS, was developed with an eye toward use as a business model. To this end, one way to understand the system is by looking at the components that are understood to address the production process. Within this process, all the basics of creating an infrastructure that will produce a desirable good or service is present. This can include production facilities, labor, and raw materials. The idea is to combine all these elements into a working system that will produce a final product that will be in demand.


As the other major component of the product service system, there is the process of being competitive with the pricing of the end product, and meeting needs of the customer base. In many applications of the system model, there is also the desire to accomplish all these goals with a reduced level of impact on the environment.

Because the basic model for a product service system can be adapted to different situations, there is always that chance that more emphasis will be placed on a given component than in other situations. For example, a product oriented product service system would focus on the manufacturing and development component, such as making a new detergent that brightens whites without the use of bleach. A use oriented product service system would be focused primarily on meeting customer needs and expectations, such as with a reliable taxi service, or a library that is stocked with the latest books and forms of electronic media. A result oriented product service system would focus on service delivery involving intangibles that replace tangibles. One example would be physical conference centers being replaced by the use of a video or audio conference call.

The process of a product service system can be applied to all sorts of situations. The system works when applied to the educational process, with instructors imparting knowledge to students, who then benefit from the acquisition of the learning. PSS works with product rental, in that renting products allows customers to meet a need that is short term without incurring a long-term debt. Just about any process that involves the offering of something of value to those who need or want the offering can be easily enhanced by fitting the components into the product service system.


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