Competitive Advantage through Strategic Design (CASD) was about achieving effective strategic design thinking that enhances the competitive position of Product Service Systems and industrial design providers. Product Service Systems (PSS) can help companies achieve competitive advantage. To realize effective PSS, companies should integrate design thinking in their innovation process.

Design thinking is characterized as a creative, user-centered and vision based approach – rather than being technology or marketing driven. Design thinking becomes strategic if it is adopted in the fuzzy front end of innovation where opportunities are identified and ideas are generated, or when it informs strategic decision making at later stages. Strategic design thinking can help firms to realize (a portfolio of) PSS combinations that are recognizable, legitimate and coherent for customers. 

What questions were being answered?

Teams from 3 universities and industry partners were working together to answer the questions:

How should strategic design thinking be integrated in PSS portfolio management to optimize outcomes?
How should organizations structure and manage their relationships with professional designers when developing new PSS to optimize outcomes?
How to design PSS that are coherent and provide customers with a positive, holistic experience?

What have  the teams achieved?
The results include knowledge, design tools and PSS development methods that will help industrial designers and other suppliers of creative services adopt an effective strategic role in the PSS innovation process.

Timeframe and communication:
Throughout the project, findings have been published via this website, in professional journals, and in academic journals. Findings were also disseminated in workshop and in educational programmes.

Who was involved?
Scientific partners: Delft University of Technology, University of Amsterdam and the Design Academy Eindhoven;
Creative and Industry partners: KVD, Fabrique, Flex, NPK Design, Scope, Philips Design, Studio Dumbar, Sky Team, KLM, Oce industries, Zeeno.

Project leader
Giulia Calabretta, Delft University of Technology