Product as a Service, a growing trend that fits with business, users and the planet

In the second episode of El Periscopio, our Head of Strategy & Innovation, Ferran Sespluges, interviews Amaia Calvo-Fernández, Product Lead at Simplr, a company that has successfully implemented product servitization. A growing trend that fits perfectly with the current forms of consumption and is, at the same time, a circular design strategy because it extends the life cycle of products.

In this conversation, Ferran and Amaia transfer Product as a Service to the field of product and product design to unravel the practical implications of this trend, which involves the transformation of the business model. user experience and product design to unravel the practical implications of this trend, which involves the transformation of the business model. We share with you the main highlights 😊

Why was Simplr created and what is its mission?

Amaia explains that Simplr was created with the mission of improving people's quality of life, giving them access to the products and services they want, when they want and for as long as they want, without the need for users to own the products they consume.

"We have become accustomed to not owning everything we want to enjoy".

Why is servitisation today a real alternative for companies and users?

This new model fits into a new paradigm shift that includes a change in consumer lifestyles and also in the economic model.

Amaia stresses that subscriptions have always existed, giving as an example the lifelong subscriptions to newspapers, and that this change in the consumption model extends and makes subscriptions to anything possible.

Amaia attributes this change to a change in consumer mentality: "Nowadays, owning a car is not an aspiration, but using a car when there is a need is. We are witnessing a change in the consumer model, which is less attached to possession than before".

He also adds a very interesting reflection and explains that servitisation has gained prominence in the era of digitalisation, which allows for the design of hybrid products that incorporate both a physical and a digital (phygital) part.

As Amaia exemplifies, hybrid services are those that used to be just something physical and tangible and that today, by adding a layer of services (possible thanks to digitalisation), become something more. To illustrate this, she gives the example of health bracelets, which, in addition to being a physical product, offer the possibility of having data on users' health parameters.

Is there a direct relationship between servitisation and circularity?

Although servitisation and circularity do not always have a direct relationship, there are some sectors where it is clearly a circular design strategy.

"In technology, in particular, subscription makes it possible to extend the life cycle of products by finding a new user who wants to use it again.

Simplr, with technological leasing, makes it possible for its partners to incorporate circularity into their business model. They have the platform that allows consumer electronics companies to put their products there after use to find them a new owner, incorporating the subscription into their business model.

Amaia explains it very well: "Simplr is a channel that connects users and companies to extend the life of their products. The company reaches people who come to consume explicitly by subscription and a base of companies and consumers is created".

What should a manufacturer who wants to serve?

Due to the limited supply of Product as a Service companies in Spain, there is a clear lack of competitive pricing. Even so, Amaia underlines the possibilities of servitising the sale of products, provided that manufacturers take the following considerationsinto account:

  • Product as a Service is not an outlet, it is a line of business.
  • The product extends its useful life and has multiple owners, which implies foreseeing logistical factors, repairs, insurance, etc. It has to be a profitable business for both the company and the consumer.
  • What happens if the product breaks down? Security of the devices? Are they rented with software/applications already installed?
  • Loyalty. We must bear in mind that users are not owners, they are subscribers and we must build their loyalty.

"In servitisation we no longer have a one-off relationship with the user, we become their regular service provider and this experience has to be designed differently".

Tips for optimal service design?

Amaia acknowledges that designing services is a long process, but she stresses that it is essential to work on the moments of truth, which are those moments that are especially relevant for the user to decide whether to keep the service or not .

"The moments of truth in service design are those that, in the user's head, shape how they perceive the quality of the service. These moments have to be identified and worked on for companies, to generate a successful experience and to be clear about when we can lose or retain users".


Life as Service' is Simplr's claim. Is it your aspiration to service everything?

Amaia mentions Angel Bou, founder of Simplr, who argues that Simplr should be an operating system for life that allows you to activate and deactivate the products you need without having to own them.

"My biggest dream is that, on our planet, things can circulate between hemispheres according to seasons, so that consumerism is not duplicated. For example, the fan is a seasonal product that we only consume during summer and that could be consumed in the other hemisphere when we are in winter.

What is your feeling about Product as a Service?

Companies are prepared for this change in model because subscription, specifically consumer electronics, has become a necessity for them due to staff turnover, home office and other factors.

"Although the environmental issue is rounding off, for companies it is a model that fits perfectly with the current business model, which makes the numbers work perfectly with IT leasing". 

In conclusion, servitisation offers endless opportunities for companies and fits perfectly with the aspirations of consumers, but also with the needs of the planet. This paradigm shift will be driven both by the consumer and the current economic climate.


If you want to listen to the interview, find it at the top of this post and on our Spotify and Apple Podcasts profiles. And if you need help selling your products, you can contact our team, our service design colleagues will be happy to help you!

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