Operations Management for Service Industries: Competing in the Service Era

Operations Management for Service Industries: Competing in the Service Era

Operations Management for Service Industries: Competing in the Service Era

Operations Management for Service Industries: Competing in the Service Era

Synopsis

Looking at service industries from the cost and quality management viewpoint, Bassett argues that to achieve effective service delivery, companies must move from high-volume, long-run output to low-volume and short-runs operations. He maintains that despite the inevitability of suboptimized plan and equipment utilization, inefficiencies are not inherent. His book outlines a vision of short-run operations based on proven principles of management and organization science, and provides service industry management with a blueprint for successful competition.

Excerpt

The Western world is on the threshold of an economic revolution--the long-foretold and -awaited service revolution. Already the labor force of the United States is 70% and more applied to service occupations. Soon it will be 90% plus. The mind-numbing routine of dirty factory work disappears daily, replaced by increasing customer contact and personal service. For those accustomed to vigorous human interplay, it is the dawn of a workplace Eden. To others less skilled at social give and take with strangers, it is a stressful if not terrifying journey into uncertainty and confusion. Some will be lifted up, others crushed by this juggernaut of change.

In the interest of accuracy, perhaps, it should be observed that the world is on the threshold of another economic revolution. Revolution in social and economic structure is hardly new or unusual. History records an endless parade of change in these dimensions. The most recent revolution was the industrial revolution, the same revolution that introduced the routine of factory and repetitive assembly-line work. It is, indeed, this very industrial revolution that has now run its course and is giving way to a dominant service economy. The lengthy reign of predictable stability in the industrial revolution's supporting social structure has habituated Western man to the 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM routine of isolated labor wherein social exchange was dismissed as wasteful and inefficient. The ideal factory worker was mute, perfect of hearing, but incapable of anything better than a nod or hand sign to acknowledge the boss' instructions. The preferred worker of the service era will be skilled socially, adept at small talk and . . .

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