One day, ownership will be completely outdated !

Published on 15/07/19

What if tomorrow usage overtook ownership?

That’s what the functional service economy is betting on. Major brands are increasingly venturing forth. With the spread of smart devices and new services on offer, new opportunities are unfolding for manufacturers and customers.

The result is two-fold: it responds to the challenges of sustainable development and keeps companies competitive.

Out of ink? A distant memory!

We’ve all been there: the printer runs out of ink just when you need to print out an important document.

An inconvenience that HP’s Instant Link is close to erasing.

The principle: the printer tells HP when the ink is running low. The company sends the necessary cartridges directly to your home.

The result: no need to order online or go to the cartridge shop and no unnecessary storage. But most importantly, the price is calculated precisely to each individual’s requirements.


You don’t pay for the cartridges, just the pages printed.

With this system, you don’t buy cartridges, you buy printed pages at a flat rate.

If you print 50 pages per month, it will cost you €2.99; €4.99 for 100 pages; and it’s even free if you print less than 15 pages.

The service was launched in 2015 and has benefits on more than one level. From an environmental perspective: whenever cartridges are delivered, a return envelope lets you send back used cartridges for recycling.

From a financial perspective, the savings over the year are significant and, depending on use, can exceed 50% compared to buying cartridges.

And this model is not limited to consumables…


Have a washing machine or clean washing?

Bundles, a Dutch start-up, has joined forces with Miele, the electrical household goods manufacturer. The idea: rather than investing in a washing machine, why not just pay for the number of loads each month?

The system works on the basis of renting a machine for between €16.95 and €22.95 per month plus paying a fee for a set number of loads per month (between €0.60 and €1 per load).

The price includes delivery and installation as well as maintenance and any necessary repairs.

As the machine is connected to the internet, Bundles can anticipate any possible problems, and, via the app, give advice in real time allowing the user to get the most from the subscription while optimising water and electricity consumption.

The service is currently only available in the Netherlands, but its directors have already widened the range to include driers and even coffee machines on the same basis.

Sustainable development and economy make a decidedly good household.


What does this tell us?

Professionals already had access to this type of service. Look at Michelin and its Fleet Solution service. The programme was launched in 2001 and offers hauliers the chance to pay for tyres based on the number of kilometres driven rather than buying them.

What’s new is that this model is now coming into our homes. Which means that in the years ahead, other players will need to rethink their business models and the services they offer. It starts with retailers but goes as far as consumer credit providers.

Sources : HP- Michelin, Miele