Meeting Triple Bottom Lines through Product Service Systems, Selling Purified Water Instead of Chemicals: An Extended Case Study

S.D.S.R. Maheepala, B.N.F. Warnakulasuriya, Y.K. Weerakoon Banda


A Product-Service System (PSS) is an integrated product and service offering that delivers value in use. The purpose of this paper is to study the contribution of PSS to economic, social and environmental performance by changing the offering from product to product-service systems. The key attributes such as co-creation of value with customers, application of competences such as knowledge and skills on intangible resources are studied in depth in this case study. Authors have conducted a single-case study in order to achieve the aim of the paper. Analysis focuses on chemical supplier and the customer. Semi structured interviews were conducted to collect the primary data and supplementary data were used for theoretical triangulation (Jick, 1979; Yin, 2003; Baines et al., 2009). Deductive content analysis (Elo and Kyngäs, 2008) is conducted and findings were reported. By changing the business model of selling chemicals into selling purified water, the company has transformed from product focus to PSS focus. Both the customer and supplier were able to create value within and between systems. Customer acted as a co-creator of value. It has enhanced the triple bottom line by increasing the profit, reduced the environmental impact by reducing the chemical component and enhanced the employee morale and safety. This study creates the awareness about product service systems to enhance customer bonding, diminish competition and enhance triple bottom lines. This paper originates an empirical evidence of PSS in Sri Lanka and the economic, social and environmental benefits which can be derived thereby.
Keywords: Product Service Systems, Triple Bottom Line, Sustainability, Servitization, Sri Lanka

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