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The vulnerability of this approach is that it exposes the service firm to risk, especially if competitors continue to offer the convenience of full-service alternatives.

Service Operations Management

Increase complexity : Increased complexity is the service-product development option i. Under this option, the service firm has an increased opportunity to maximise the revenue generated from each customer. The vulnerability inherent in this approach is that the firm's market positioning may become confused.

Managing a broader array of products may also expose the firm to risks of spreading its effort too thin to the detriment of overall service quality. While blueprints draw attention to operational deficiencies, the blueprint, per se, cannot suggest solutions. In order to identify potential solutions to operating problems, the analyst must examine the service process and consider the factors that are likely to cause the problem. In addition, the range of possible solutions may be constrained by organisation's mission, current market position and access to resources.

A very substantial body of marketing literature has addressed the question of possible solutions to problems identified through blueprinting. It is difficult to do justice to the wealth of studies using blueprints to gain managerial insights. A short summary of key managerial actions follows:.

Variable performance in service delivery is largely attributable to inseparability and human factors. Even in the back office, lack of standardisation can indirectly influence the customer process. In many organisations employees chose their own systems for storing files. Swank cites an example of an insurance company where some employees filed according to policyholder alphabetical , others by policy number chronological while others by date received. When employees were absent, substitutes sometimes found it hard to figure out where files were stored, so the process of retrieving files was delayed.

Standardization is clearly designed to provide tighter control over service delivery with a view to improving consistency of quality and making it easier for management to assess processes. Other benefits include reductions in costs and improved productivity. However, gains in operational efficiency achieved through standardization usually involve sacrificing flexibility and customisation. For the analyst, there is a constant trade off between improved operational efficiency and customised delivery. Some deviation is a normal aspect of service interactions; however any deviation that is likely to affect the customer's perceptions of value directly impacts on satisfaction.

Those incidents which have the potential to become especially satisfying or dissatisfying are known as critical incidents and may benefit from standardised procedures. It is often suggested that a reduction in the number of contact points in the service processes can lead to greater efficiency since it reduces the total number of points where failure can creep into the system.

Complex Service Delivery Processes Strategy by Harvey Jean - AbeBooks

However, replacing technologies for humans contributes to inflexibility of service processes and may ultimately lead to fewer opportunities to differentiate a service offering in the marketplace. Planners may need to balance competing interests of controlling the process with the overall positioning strategy. Customer participation should not be confused with customer contact. Customer participation is the degree of effort and involvement, both mental and physical, required to produce and deliver the service.

The level of customer participation varies from providing simple information to the service provider, to joint-production with the assistance of service staff, to instances where the customer is the sole producer i. Customer participation focuses on reducing the costs associated with delivering the service product. Although the additional 'work' customers have to perform may be associated with such benefits as extended service hours, time-savings and in some instances monetary savings, these benefits may not be immediately obvious—they must be promoted.

Anyone who has stood in line at a bank while a single teller assisted a customer with a lengthy transaction understands this principle.

Service Management: increased process optimization, improved service delivery

One solution is to cluster tasks with similar levels of difficulty into separate groups with their own procedures and performance. Complex services involve many steps and may require paperwork or customer files to be shuffled between contact staff, back office and support departments. The time taken to move paperwork or customers is very costly in terms of time and efficiency. Tertiary student enrolment provides a great example of complex processes that are often not very customer-friendly.

Students must firstly see an academic advisor to ensure that their course progress in on track, then see an administrative advisor to check that paperwork is in order and finally see a cashier to pay tuition fees and pay any fines, such as overdue library books before they can finalise their enrolment.

Service system

In many institutions, this enrolment process can take half a day — and requires students to run from pillar to post as they complete each step. Locating each stage in close proximity has many advantages. Access provided by: anon Sign Out. Modeling service variability in complex service delivery operations Abstract: One of the key promises of IT strategic outsourcing is to deliver greater IT service management through better quality and lower cost. However, this raises a critical question on how to model highly variable services for diverse customers with heterogeneous infrastructure and service demands.

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In this paper we propose the use of statistical learning approaches for service operation variability modeling. Specifically, we use the partial least squares regression that projects service attributes to explain the service volume variability, and the decision tree approach to model the service effort based on categorical customer and service properties. The coding system adopted mitigated the risk identified by Eisenhardt with regard to the failures or difficulties of analysis stemming from the high volume of unstructured data available in qualitative research.

For the storage, management and codification of the data, we used the qualitative data analysis software MAXQDA, which intuitively allowed us to organize and categorize the data, export coded segments and offer a wide range of data visualization tools that guided the analysis and study conclusions. The professional services studied were an Information Technology Company, representing the category of technology developers; a Management Consulting, representing the category of new professional services; a Hospital, for the professional campus category; and a Law Firm, to represent the classic professional services.

Account Options

The Information Technology Company IT operates in the telecommunications sector and offers solutions in corporate mobile communication, for access to interactive content and e-commerce solutions. With more than one hundred professionals and more than ten years in the market, it operates nationally and also in Latin America. Its professionals are graduates and specialists, mostly in areas related to technology, such as Computer Science and Information Systems. They can assume positions of trainee, analyst or managers, segmented by levels of seniority trainee, junior, and senior , according to their experience, company time and performance.

The encouragement of formal training practices and shared learning is linked to the relevance of knowledge to the delivery of the service. However, the development through practice and the sharing of experience among colleagues is recognized and promoted, besides individual studies being necessary to keep up with technological changes. The Law Firm has been operating for more than 50 years in litigation and legal assistance in the most varied disciplines of Law.

It operates nationwide, through an alliance with other law firms throughout the country. Requests are received from individuals and legal entities.


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The law firms, as well as the professionals who are associated with them, are regulated by the Order of Attorneys of Brazil OAB. The Order, through the Statute of Advocacy and the Code of Ethics and Discipline, aims to discipline and defend legal professionals, accompanying the practice of advocacy. Considering the seniority division, there is the intern, associate lawyer and business partner lawyer, all without employment relationship, and can be remunerated per lawsuit, per hour or fixed salary.

The business partners lawyers receive patrimonial quotas on the services performed. The Hospital, in turn, has operated for more than twenty years in the market and has more than one hundred employees, delivering service through the emergency room, examinations and diagnoses, surgeries and continuous care, considering the specialties of cardiology, general surgery, plastic surgery, medical clinic, neurology, orthopedics and traumatology and pediatrics.

With regard to clients, we can identify those who have healthcare plans and private clients. Among the most diverse types of professional, we mention: physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, speech therapists, psychologists and technicians in the health areas, among other assistance professionals. Considering the labor contract, only the nurses and the nursing technicians are contracted under the CLT regime Consolidated Labor Laws. Doctors operate in the open clinical system, that is, they are outsourced and hired as legal entities, remunerated by work schedules.

However, the surveyed Hospital does not only work with professionals. Other features are also considered essential for the operation, from diagnostic equipment, hospital supplies and medicines to the infrastructure for service delivery.

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Finally, the selected Management Consultancy offers services in several disciplines to promote the solution of complex organizational problems, as in strategy planning and implementation, management innovation, analysis and redesign of business processes. The company operates at national level for more than five years and offers Consulting projects, executive education solutions and technology solutions to partners.


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Its clients are categorized, for the most part, as large companies, national and international, as well as the public sector. The proposal of highly customized solutions requires that its professionals be prepared and qualified, having completed higher education and also degrees, considering MBA, masters and doctorates.