The IWT TETRA project “Internal leverage for the creation of successful PSS” is not only informative for Product Development students but also provides participating companies with useful insights. PSS (Product Service Systems) are becoming an ever more important tool to companies wishing to set themselves apart. On 22 December, the PSS Design-Strategic Rollout Toolkit was presented in the Winkelhaak. Several companies – such as BORGInsole – were instrumental in the development and application of this toolkit.
“Not just marketing a product as a product”, Gratienne Sioncke says, “has been one of the key insights. Last year, she was named female entrepreneur of the year (2015) and now she and BORGInsole are enthusiastic participants in the PSS-oriented project. She chairs the company where the case study was performed on which the tool is based. Her company specializes in the production of shoe soles and offers podiatrists a ‘full package’. They provide scanners and cameras, produce shoe soles, etc. As of late, motivated by the IWT TETRA project, podiatrists can also get a license for their SoleApp. It allows them to develop the shoe sole they want, which BORGInsole then makes for them. This shoe sole is not just a product, but rather a solution to a problem: we sell a solution”.
Furthermore, it is important that service does not stop once a customer has made a purchase. Podiatrists who use products of BORGInsole therefore have a ‘prolonged warranty on the manufacturer’s warranty’, which means that they will always receive updates and upgrades of their system, so they can continue using them under ideal circumstances. Furthermore, they not only want their tool to be used, they also want customers to learn how to use it properly. That is why they have started organizing training programs. This way, customers become experts on their product instead of mere consumers.
The tool kit is an opportunity for companies to look at themselves with a fresh pair of eyes. This has worked surprisingly well for Gratienne Sioncke. A workshop established a dialogue between the participating companies. And so it happened that the people at BORGInsole discovered that the managers and the board adhere to the same policy. “Our managers are still talking about it. They call it one of the most rewarding moments of 2016 in terms of professional development. All ideas were collected in the simplest of ways. They were jotted down on post-its, which were then stuck on cabinet in neat rows. This brings together the different views and perspectives within a company. If a product service system is to be successful, the idea must take root on every level. “The post-its are still stuck to the cabinet.”