This research seeks to develop a systematic methodology to balance the serviceability, reliability, and modularity (SRM) of a design with other life-cycle costs. While design for assembly (DFA) and modular designs are stressed, SRM’s effects on post manufacturing life-cycle issues are often bypassed. In particular, a design without adequate consideration for serviceability could seriously affect service costs and customer satisfaction. This paper develops a systematic method to deploy the serviceability design guidelines during early stages of design. Our study, service mode analysis (SMA), involves a consistent representation of design rules, failure and service frequency data, and life-cycle service cost. This paper defines the steps used to complete the service mode analysis and proposes a means of expressing serviceability both quantitatively and qualitatively. The paper also shows a method to examine tradeoffs between serviceability costs and other life-cycle costs.