From traditional product-centric models to outcome-based approaches

Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern

Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern

The Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern calculates a product’s value based on the services it renders, with customers paying a specified amount covering all relevant costs.

This model offers cost control, incentive alignment, long-term partnerships, risk sharing, and innovation for both customers and manufacturers.

Implementing Performance-Based Contracting requires defining performance metrics, developing SLAs, investing in monitoring and optimization, fostering collaboration, managing risk, and continuously improving.

What is the Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern?

The Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern is a pricing strategy in which the value of a product is determined by the services it provides, rather than its intrinsic value. Under this model, customers pay a specified amount that covers all relevant costs, such as operation, maintenance, and repair, based on the actual performance or output of the product. This approach allows customers to better manage their expenses and ensures that they are paying for the value they receive, rather than simply the product itself.

Why is the Performance-Based Contracting Important?

The Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern offers several key benefits for both customers and manufacturers:

  • Cost Control for Customers: By paying for the services rendered by the product, rather than its face value, customers can better control their costs and align their expenses with the actual value they receive.
  • Incentive Alignment: Performance-Based Contracting aligns the incentives of manufacturers and customers, as both parties have a vested interest in ensuring that the product performs optimally and delivers the desired results.
  • Long-term Partnerships: This model encourages deep integration between manufacturers and customers, fostering long-term, cooperative relationships that can lead to continuous improvement and mutual benefits.
  • Risk Sharing: Performance-Based Contracting often involves a degree of risk sharing between manufacturers and customers, as both parties have a stake in the product’s performance and the outcomes it generates.
  • Innovation and Expertise: As manufacturers become more integrated into their customers’ value creation processes, they can leverage their experience and expertise to drive innovation and optimize product performance.

The Contracting Framework

Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern

Leveraging strategic approaches in procurement and contract management can significantly enhance efficiency and effectiveness in achieving desired project outcomes. The categorization of contracts based on their performance orientation (output vs. outcome) and the incentive system (fixed price vs. incentive price) within a 4 by 4 matrix framework offers a helps to different contracting models.

1. Standard Deliverables Contracting (SDC) – Fixed Price – Output:

  • Definition: SDC focuses on achieving specific outputs or deliverables with a fixed price agreement, ensuring cost certainty for the client while placing the cost overrun risk on the contractor.
  • Characteristics:
    • Ensures price certainty and cost control.
    • Mandates clear, predefined deliverable specifications.
    • Places the financial risk of overruns on the contractor.
  • Applications: Ideal for projects with well-defined scopes, such as the manufacturing of standardised goods.

2. Outcome-Assured Fixed Contracting (OAFC) – Fixed Price – Outcome:

  • Definition: OAFC targets specific outcomes at a fixed price, encouraging contractors to devise the most efficient methods to achieve these goals without dictating the process.
  • Characteristics:
    • Prioritises end results over procedural specifics.
    • Imposes significant risk and responsibility on the contractor.
    • Stimulates contractor innovation and efficiency.
  • Applications: Best suited for projects where outcomes can be clearly defined upfront, such as infrastructure improvements.

3. Performance-Adjusted Output Contracting (PAOC) – Incentive Price – Output:

  • Definition: PAOC is tailored towards achieving specified outputs with a contract price that adjusts based on performance against predefined criteria, promoting a shared risk model.
  • Characteristics:
    • Offers a flexible pricing model tied to performance metrics.
    • Encourages higher productivity and efficiency from the contractor.
    • Balances risk between the contractor and client.
  • Applications: Effective in projects with variable output quality, like IT system implementations.

4. Performance-Based Contracting (PBC) – Incentive Price – Outcome:

  • Definition: PBC, focusing on achieving measurable outcomes with pricing tied to performance, exemplifies the quadrant of incentive price and outcome orientation, aligning contractor incentives with desired results.
  • Characteristics:
    • Aligns financial incentives with achieving specific outcomes.
    • Encourages cost-efficiency and innovative solutions.
    • Makes payments contingent upon result achievement, sharing the project risk.
  • Applications: Ideal for complex and flexible projects, such as public sector service delivery.

Impact on the Business Model

The Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern significantly impacts various aspects of a company’s overall business model:

  • Value Proposition: The value proposition shifts from providing a product to delivering a measurable outcome or service, with the focus on the results achieved rather than the product itself.
  • Customer Relationships: Performance-Based Contracting fosters long-term, collaborative relationships with customers, as manufacturers become deeply integrated into their customers’ value creation processes.
  • Revenue Streams: Revenue is generated based on the services rendered by the product, often in the form of a fixed fee that covers all relevant costs, rather than a one-time sale price.
  • Key Activities: Key activities include not only the production of the product but also its ongoing operation, maintenance, and optimization to ensure that it delivers the desired performance and results.
  • Key Partnerships: Partnerships with customers become critical, as Performance-Based Contracting requires close collaboration and alignment of incentives to ensure the product’s success.

How to Implement the Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern

To successfully implement the Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern, companies should consider the following steps:

  1. Define Performance Metrics: Clearly define the performance metrics or outcomes that will be used to measure the value delivered by the product, ensuring that they are measurable, relevant, and aligned with customer needs.
  2. Develop Service Level Agreements: Create comprehensive service level agreements (SLAs) that outline the terms and conditions of the Performance-Based Contract, including performance targets, payment structures, and responsibilities of both parties.
  3. Invest in Monitoring and Optimization: Implement robust systems for monitoring product performance, identifying areas for improvement, and optimizing the product to ensure that it consistently meets or exceeds the agreed-upon performance targets.
  4. Foster Collaboration and Communication: Establish strong channels of communication and collaboration with customers to ensure that both parties are aligned on goals, expectations, and progress throughout the contract period.
  5. Manage Risk and Contingencies: Develop strategies for managing risk and contingencies, such as performance guarantees, insurance, or shared savings models, to protect both the manufacturer and the customer from potential downside scenarios.
  6. Continuously Improve and Innovate: Leverage the insights and expertise gained through Performance-Based Contracting to continuously improve the product, optimize its performance, and drive innovation in response to evolving customer needs and market conditions.

Trigger Questions

  • What products, services, or solutions can we offer on a performance-based contracting basis that aligns with customer goals and priorities?
  • How can we define and measure clear, objective, and achievable performance metrics and targets?
  • What risk-sharing or incentive structures can we implement to align our interests with those of our customers?
  • How can we design a transparent and fair compensation model that rewards us for delivering superior performance and value?
  • What processes and capabilities do we need to put in place to monitor, report on, and continuously improve our performance?
  • How can we communicate the benefits and differentiation of our performance-based approach to potential customers and stakeholders?

Pros and Cons of Performance-Contracting

Performance-based contracting has its perks and drawbacks for both clients and contractors. It encourages contractors to deliver top-notch services or products, ensuring bang for your buck. These contracts spread risks between parties and focus on results rather than inputs, sparking creativity and efficiency.

However, setting up performance metrics can be a bit tricky, accurately measuring performance might pose a challenge, and there’s a risk of putting contract requirements over overall value.

Plus, these contracts may not be very flexible in dealing with changes in project scope or unexpected situations. So before diving into performance-based contracting, it’s important to weigh the pros against the cons!

Examples of the Performance-Based Contracting Business Model Pattern

  • Rolls-Royce Power-by-the-Hour: Rolls-Royce’s pioneering Power-by-the-Hour program offers aircraft engines on a performance-based contract, with customers paying for the number of flying hours achieved rather than the engines themselves.
  • Philips Circular Lighting: Philips offers a Circular Lighting service, where customers pay for the light provided rather than the physical light fixtures, with Philips responsible for installation, maintenance, and end-of-life recycling.
  • Caterpillar Maintenance and Repair Contracts: Caterpillar offers performance-based contracts for its heavy equipment, where customers pay a fixed fee that covers all maintenance, repair, and optimization services to ensure optimal equipment performance.
  • Siemens Mobility Performance-Based Contracts: Siemens offers performance-based contracts for its rail systems, where customers pay based on the availability and reliability of the trains, with Siemens responsible for maintenance and service.


The Performance-Based Contracting business model pattern represents a shift from traditional product-centric models to outcome-based approaches that prioritize the value delivered to customers. By aligning incentives, sharing risks, and fostering long-term partnerships, Performance-Based Contracting can drive innovation, optimize product performance, and create mutual benefits for both manufacturers and customers. As businesses increasingly focus on results and outcomes, the Performance-Based Contracting model is likely to gain further traction across various industries.

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