Showing posts with label operations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label operations. Show all posts

Monday, January 26, 2015

Service Logic That Solves Customer Problems

The process of developing a better service logic approach requires more than wishful thinking and running the same process over and over in hopes of doing something new. Organizations that focus on integrating their service concept throughout their operations will be rewarded through greater market relevance and customer support. It is helpful to encourage customers to be co-creators and then developing operations around their needs to ensure focus.

Integrated service frameworks relies on taking customers suggestions based on their problems, using their input to develop a salable solution, and then integrating the information throughout operations. The lens of understanding requires the company to think through customer problems and service solutions to successfully move to the next level.

Jobs-to-be-done (JTBD) offers insight into organizational needs to solve customers problems while service-dominant logic (SDL) focuses efforts on the customers needs. Using jobs-to-be-done with service-dominant logic in the viewing of firm marketing programs offers a much higher customer oriented outcome (Bettencourt, et. al. 2014). The design of the operations and marketing process should be based in solving problems.

This provides a much stronger framework for seeing how operational designs do not often coordinate well to a final product or solution. Customers don’t concern themselves with the internal mechanisms of the company but do become acutely aware when a service mistake costs them time, money, or a good time. Upset customers don’t often come back but they are often willing to share information to either the company or other customers.

Understanding customers and drawing them into finding solutions that help the organization to better align its offerings to solving marketing problems is better than shooting blindly at a market opening. The customer provides a gentle hand and will tell you what they are looking for and how to market to them. Organizations must only adjust their data gathering and strategic processes to the customer's needs.

Once the information and product is obtained from the customer it is beneficial to revisit the operations for improvement and better focus on customer needs. It is a feedback process that helps companies take in information, analyze that information, and then adjust operations to meet the market needs and improve sales. Living and breathing organizations that adjust to market problems will outlive their more stagnant cousins through greater market relevancy.

Bettencourt, L., et. al. (2014). A service lens on value creation: marketing’s role in achieving strategic advantage. California Management Review, 57 (1).

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Helping Managers Develop Strategies for Time

Time is an expendable resources that has limitations and adds up to either contribute or detract from a company’s success. You may have heard the phrase time is money. In business few things could be truer. The way in which managers use their time can have large implications for whether or not activities are aligned to the actual needs of the company. Time management isn’t a fruitless event and can lead to greater personal and organizational rewards. 

Managing time and knowing where to spend time are two important considerations. Someone can be efficient with every moment of their life but if they are spending their time in the wrong activities it doesn’t do them much good. Likewise, on an organizational level percentages of time can lead to thousands, if not millions, of dollars of revenue. 

Distraction of the Available:

It is easy for managers to get distracted in the small everyday tasks they must complete each day. The reports, daily events, and employee concerns keep them jumping from one task to the next in order to finish the day. It is like a running hamster wheel where lots of things are getting done but few of them actually contribute to the organization. 

Instead of being reactive with time it is important to be more proactive in its use. This includes keeping the bigger function of the organization and the department in mind when spending time. Sometimes it is better to adjust tasks, streamline processes, or simply delegate some necessary “busy work” to ensure that focus is maintained on the objectives. 

Over Abundance of Procedures:

The manager’s job is not in isolation and often must take into account the needs of customers, suppliers, bosses, human resources, industry stakeholders, etc… At times organizations may develop too many rules and processes that make functional operation of the department ineffective. There are simply too many details that must be accomplished every day before productivity begins. 

This is something that is difficult for executives to understand because in their search for greater control the actual time the manager has left to focus on his/her core job functions becomes limited.  The manager must choose between pleasing their boss and meeting organizational goals. Sometimes the choice can become impossible to make when pressures are high. 

Time management is not always something that rests with the individual manager’s use of time. In many scenarios it can be the actual policies, procedures, and misalignment of duties that cause managers not to be focused. As these managers spend more time on organizational objectives they naturally are better able to reach important company milestones. Executives should seek to simplify, streamline, and focus duties instead of creating complexity.