Interface's Evergreen Services Agreement
In an attempt to reduce its ecological footprint, Interface Americas, a leading manufacturer of commercial carpet tile, has launched the Evergreen Services Agreement (ESA)--a lease agreement that provides would-be carpet purchasers with comprehensive floor-covering services (color, texture, warmth, beauty, acoustics, and safety). Under ESA, Interface retains ownership of all carpet material, thereby ensuring proper recycling. Despite active media attention and a lot of interested calls from potential buyers, Interface is having difficulty selling ESA. CEO Dan Hendrix is at a crossroad and must decide whether to continue support for ESA or to focus on other initiatives. This case, grounded in a failed negotiation with the University of Texas, Houston, details a discussion of the difficulties of structuring a long-term lease agreement, defining a new service value proposition for the customer, and developing a sustainable business model for product-related services.