Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the operational principles that can be applied when
offering integrated solutions of both products and services, i.e. product-service systems (PSS).
Manufacturing companies that start pursuing a service oriented strategy face many new challenges. We investigate which well-known operational principles can be of merit to these companies and how these principles can be put to action.
Design/methodology/approach - The paper reports on the main findings of a structured return on invested capital (ROIC) analysis. We cascaded the ROIC metric into a limited set of core operational drivers. We then identified operational practices which could be applied to improve the ROIC by
influencing the operational drivers. The operational practices were distillated from a close collaboration
with a manufacturing company that pursues a product-service strategy.
Findings - Five generic strategic guidelines are formulated and translated into a wide range of operational
Research limitations/implications - The paper provides a range of operational practices in the PSS business. Many of these practices are based on well-known operational principles but still need further elaboration with respect to the interrelationships between products and services.
Practical implications - The five service operations strategies can guide practitioners in their quest for
operational excellence in the field of PSS.
Originality/value - Our main contribution is that we prove the usefulness of generic operational principles and translate them into clear guidelines to be applied for companies offering product-service systems.