The Fish Model: Guiding Manufacturers through Financing Challenges towards As-a-Service Success

Florian André
Rafael Girafa

The Fish Model: Guiding Manufacturers through Financing Challenges towards Subscription & As-a-Service Success

In the dynamic business landscape, the shift from transactional sales models to subscription-based models is becoming a vital strategy for manufacturers of physical products and equipment. This transformation, though challenging, offers numerous benefits, including recurring revenue and enhanced customer relationships. P2S Management Consulting specializes in guiding companies through this transition period. This article provides an in-depth look at how manufacturers can successfully transition to subscription models, with a particular emphasis on the integration of financing strategies.

The Fish Model: A Deeper Dive

The Fish Model serves as a visual metaphor for the financial trajectory of transitioning from a product-centric to a subscription-based business model. In a traditional business model, often represented as two parallel lines in a coordinate system, costs are ideally lower than earnings. However, in the shift to a recurring billing model, this dynamic changes significantly. This transition typically leads to increased costs due to the need for enhanced technical capabilities, and a spread out revenue over a longer period. For example, the shift from a one-time substantial payment for a product (like an expensive software license)to a smaller, recurring monthly fee represents this change. This shift can result in a substantial drop in immediate earnings. However, understanding and preparing for these changes, and implementing strategies to flatten this curve, can make the transition more manageable and sustainable in the long run.

Tailoring the Transition for Manufacturing

For manufacturers, shifting to a subscription model presents unique challenges, distinct from those in the software industry. This transition involves rethinking not just the sales strategy but also the production, supply chain, and service delivery aspects. A gradual transition is often more feasible, allowing for a balance between traditional sales and emerging subscription services. This strategic shift requires careful consideration of market dynamics, customer preferences, and competitive landscape.

The Role of Financing in the Transition

Financing is pivotal in transitioning to subscription models in manufacturing. Innovative solutions like receivables financing can mitigate initial cash flow and revenue recognition impacts. Partnering with specialized financing firms in asset and subscription-based models offers expertise in tailoring financial structures to subscription dynamics. Additionally, collaborating with external entities proficient in As-a-Service and Pay-per-Use financing further enhances this transition. These partners provide customized financial strategies, accommodating extended revenue timelines and stabilizing cash flow, enabling manufacturers to expand their subscription offerings with financial agility and minimal strain.

P2S Management Consulting’s Subscription Experts Ecosystem™ counts more than 10 financing partners specialised in providing financing and advising on the implications on cash flow, revenue recognition, and more.

Transforming Manufacturing: Embracing Subscription Models through Innovative Financing

Consider a manufacturer of industrial machinery that traditionally sold equipment outright. As part of their transition to a subscription model, they now offer their machinery on a subscription basis, retaining ownership of the equipment. This approach changes their revenue stream from large one-time payments to smaller, recurring payments. To manage the financial impact of this shift, particularly the strain on immediate cash flow and the need for upfront capital to produce the equipment, the manufacturer partners with external financing entities. These entities provide capital, enabling the manufacturer to maintain equipment production without bearing the full financial burden. The partnership facilitates a smoother transition to the subscription model, ensuring a steady cash flow while expanding the company's service offerings.

P2S Management Consulting's Comprehensive Approach

Founded in 2019, P2S Management Consulting is an innovation consultancy specialising in Subscription, Pay-per-Use and As-a-Service business models. We help clients in various industries in Europe and North America transform their products into recurring services. Our clients are usually companies that currently sell physical products/equipment/machines in a "traditional" way, eager to transform them into recurring services.

We help our clients develop these Subscription, Pay-per-Use and As-a-Service models by taking them on an innovation journey and helping them conceptualise, build and launch their own recurring revenue model.

Our expertise is based on best practices, dos and don'ts, and implementations from dozens of successful models in various industries.

Thanks to our P2S Subscription Action Plan™ and P2S Subscription Experts Ecosystem™, we offer everything out of one hand – a proven methodology and the right partners to help you develop and scale your Subscription, Pay-per-Use and As-a-Service model.


The transition to subscription models in the manufacturing sector, supported by strategic financing and comprehensive planning, represents a significant but rewarding shift. With P2S Management Consulting's expertise, manufacturers can navigate this change effectively, securing a competitive edge in an evolving market. This journey not only promises sustainable growth but also opens avenues for enhanced customer loyalty and innovative service delivery.

Interested in discussing your subscription/As-a-Service model ideas? Book a call here via this [link].

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Florian André
Founding Partner
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Rafael Girafa
Business Analyst

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