Beefing Up Operations in Service Firms
Many articles exhort service firm managers to empower workers and first-line supervisors, exploit technology, focus on the customer, and, above all, provide outstanding service. This article proposes a framework to help you evaluate your company's competitive standing in each of these areas. It discusses four types of companies on a continuum, from the company that is simply "available for service" to the firm that delivers world class service. The authors focus on operations, the function that controls the service encounter, and apply the manufacturing strategy paradigm to services as a means of implementing change.