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To cost an elephant: an exploratory survey on cost estimating practice in the light of product-service-systems

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journal contribution
posted on 20.03.2015, 14:21 authored by Ettore Settanni, Nils E. Thenent, Linda B. Newnes, Glenn Parry, Yee GohYee Goh
Businesses now contracting for availability are regarded as part of a paradigm shift away from the familiar ‘product and support’ business model. The main difference being that such businesses eventually commit to provide a service outcome via Product-Service-System (PSS). The research presented in this paper investigates how current cost estimating practice relates with the idea of having as the point of focus for the analysis a PSS delivering service outcomes, rather than a product. Since the topic is in its infancy, an exploratory survey was designed and circulated via the Internet amongst practitioners with the aim of looking for initial patterns, ideas and hypotheses, rather than to confirm existing ones. The picture that seems to emerge is that respondents would not necessarily see the representation and modeling of a PSS as being a precondition to estimate the cost of the service it provides. In line with most academic literature, respondents would rather consider the cost of providing a service via PSS as conceptually equivalent to the cost of the in-service stage of a durable product. Although now allowing for generalization, this research reveals paths that may be worth exploring further.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

Published in

Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics


SETTANNI, E. ... et al, 2015. To cost an elephant: an exploratory survey on cost estimating practice in the light of product-service-systems. Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics, 8 (1), pp.1-22.


© Taylor and Francis


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journal of Cost Analysis and Parametrics on 15 Apr 2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/1941658X.2015.1016588