MEPSS is intended to provide active support during actual phase-by-phase execution of PSS innovation projects of companies by providing a clear modular structure and providing management and design support. A Webtool offers free access to results according to the “open source” idea: everyone will be allowed to use the tools by themselves. Additional support can be provided by the MEPSS consortium partners, a network of international experts. MEPSS is experimenting with new forms of planning and communication. Early involvement of stakeholders and visualisation of results are key principles that offer benefits in two areas:
  • Higher acceptance among stakeholders and society for new solutions and anticipation of potential difficulties.
  • More, better and more feasible new ideas than traditional planning processes will ever be able to generate, thanks to the participation of people who will be affected by the new solutions directly or indirectly (stakeholders). Advantage is taken from the tacit knowledge of the organisation.
Tacit knowledge
Tacit knowledge, as opposed to explicit knowledge, is far less tangible and is deeply embedded into an organization's operating practices. It is often called 'organizational culture', referring to relationships, norms, values, and standard operating procedures. Because tacit knowledge is much harder to detail, copy, and distribute, it can be a rich and sustainable source of competitive advantage. Explicit knowledge should be enriched with internally generated tacit knowledge.
The MEPSS Handbook offers a PSS innovation model with the following characteristics:
  • Open innovation model based on creating partnerships
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Unknown / new environment
  • Unstable, rapidly changing environment
  • Building on existing competences, products, and/or markets
  • Extension to new competences, products, and/or markets (e.g. by partnerships)
  • Business renewal or expansion
  • Need for process of substantial change
  • Accepting uncertainty
  • Building on tacit (implicit) knowledge of the organisation (see text box).
MEPSS offers uniqueness in terms of modularity. A company or an industrial alliance can start from various directions and starting conditions.
As the complexity of PSS innovation is high, the availability of good tools is important. This handbook offers a range of carefully selected tools, many of them specifically tailored to PSS. Moreover, the use of real industry cases and illustrative examples helps in illustrating the MEPSS model, the rationale for the tools, and the actual application of these tools. Methods and tools are grouped in the following areas:
  • Dynamic system analysis
  • How is today’s value chain organised?
  • How to describe the system of interlinked production and consumption chains (e.g. logistics, material and product flows, profit pool, environmental and social effects)?
  • How to organise a system analysis of PSS alternatives (with strengths and weaknesses compared to today’s system)?
  • Who could be involved in co-development and commercialisation – identification of likely partners in the value chain?
  • What pitfalls are to be avoided?
  • How to stimulate the new mindset in which PSS can best be brought to fruition?
  • How to remodel social/ethical, infrastructure, legal and organisational systems?
  • How to build credible business reputation based on PSS?
  • PSS design – Selection, design and development of PSS business model
  • What PSS scenario development and brainstorming methods to use, when and how?
  • Which stakeholders to invite and what role to give them in PSS-idea development and PSS-concept development?
  • What key features (characteristics) of the PSS proposition to present in the market?
  • What new market rules to obey?
  • When and how to operate individually or in industrial consortia?
  • How to visualise the PSS ideas and concepts to prospective clients, other stakeholder groups and management?
  • How to include the service dimension in eco-design theory?
3.         Sustainability (3P) assessment of  PSS business –The chosen perspective (company, production-consumption chain, or territory) is important to come to reliable assessments

  • What is the contribution of a PSS business case to ‘people’, ‘planet’ and ‘profit’?
  • How to visualise and communicate the people, planet and profit score in a simple (non- technocratic) way?
  • How can PSS contribute to society in decoupling the environmental and economic dimensions and how can negative rebound effects be avoided?
4.         Market acceptance - Acceleration of the market acceptance of the PSS proposition by the market

  • What are key messages to launch a specific PSS proposition in a chosen market segment?
  • What pitfalls are to be avoided?
  • How to stimulate the new mindset in which PSS can best be brought to fruition?
  • How to remodel social/ethical, infrastructure, legal and organisational systems?
  • How to build a credible business reputation based on PSS?