PSSycle AG (previously Radbau GmbH) is a traditional medium-sized bike manufacturer with about 250 employees, which was founded in 1950. In 2010 the company has started to manufacture electric-bikes and now possesses broad knowledge and technologies in this domain.
In 2012 the company initiated an innovative business concept, the PSSycle. The PSSycle (PSS stands for productservice-systems) is not only a physical product. PSSycle includes the rental service of e-bikes with many additional features. To rent an e-bike, users can book one within a specific area using a smartphone. The rent price is calculated based on per-minute-policy. Users can return the e-bike by leaving it on the roadside or at one of the stations. The stations recharge the batteries of the e-bikes. The complete system, the product and the services, including software are developed in-house. Single components are purchased and assembled on-site. The new range of services and the transformation to the new business concept influence different parts of the company:
- New business areas: The company added software development as a new business area to reach the required service capabilities.
- New project groups: The company employed new software experts to develop the digital platform of the sharing system. Consequently, people from different domains now work together in the project teams. Avoiding conflicts is not always possible, as teams need to frequently change their routines in order to find creative solutions.
- New business processes: At the same time, the company needs to implement new business processes, coming along with, for example, new production procedures.
In 2015 the company decided to make further innovative steps for a new generation of the system called PSSycle 2.0:
- PSSycle AG wants to involve users in the development of the PSSycle 2.0. Therefore, the company introduces the concept of innovation communities, which again alters various structures within the company.
- PSSycle AG plans to present the PSSycle 2.0 generation at market in 2020 with advanced technical features and an extension of services. For example, as an essential development goal, a navigation system is to be developed.
- The company plans a major change in the production and assembly of the e-bike: the returned defected e-bikes are included in the process of re-manufacturing in order to save resources. The newly introduced re-manufacturing concept requires change processes within the company.
- Usage data of e-bikes are to be integrated in the design and development of the product and service features in order to improve the quality and reach a higher user satisfaction. Therefore, the company develops new methods for collecting and analyzing usage data.
With the release of PSSycle 2.0, the company is to be restructured in a way that enables shorter innovation cycles on different levels. Dealing with this ambidextrous situation of achieving stability while facing frequent process changes is another challenge for PSSycle AG.
During the Innovation cycles, the integration of disciplines‘ models in the PSSycle Case Study shows that interdisciplinary modeling can enrich innovation management in the fields of:
Source: J. Reif, G. Koltun, T. Drewlani, M. Zaggl, N. Kattner, C. Dengler, M. Basirati, H. Bauer, H. Krcmar, K. Kugler, B. Lohmann, U. Meyer, G. Reinhart and B. Vogel-Heuser. “Modeling as the Basis for Innovation Cycle Management of PSS: Making Use of Interdisciplinary Models,” in IEEE International Symposium on Systems Engineering (ISSE) 2017, IEEE, Oct. 2017, pp. 371-376.