This class is concerned with the design, delivery, monitoring, and analysis of services. Lines of inquiry include: How to design and improve a service offering for sustained excellence, How to identify and overcome key challenges in service delivery, and How to monitor and analyze the performance of service entities. We consider a wide range of industries, from traditional services such as restaurants and hospitals to more modern internet-based services, and services taken from both the public and private sector.
We consider a service one in which the customer is involved, actively or passively, in the production process, and we strive to understand and leverage the role customers play in the process. This course draws on ideas from operations management (Bus 40000), but from a different perspective, that also includes a behavioral element. This course is a mix of softer more qualitative frameworks and more analytical pursuits.
Our Service Model has four parts: The Service Offering (what customer needs and expectations does the service emphasize and which ones will it sacrifice?), Firm Value (does the service provide value for the stakeholders), Employee Value (does the service provide value to the employees?), and Customer Value (does the service provide enough value to customers to encourage them to play their role effectively?).
Process Flows are used to understand the aggregated flow of customers through a process to address issues such as capacity utilization, throughput, and waiting time. We will cover the basics of process flow analysis that is also covered in Bus 40000, but with a focus on service processes. As such, there is significant overlap with the content of Bus 40000 (roughly 50%), and so a typical student may likely choose to take either this course or Bus 40000. This class’s focus on Services is for those students whose interests tend towards the end consumer; in comparison, Bus 40000 takes a broader view of Operations that include issues of production and supply chain management.
The course has both cases and lecture. Most cases are intended to provoke class discussion, with the purpose of exploring our Service Framework in a broad sense, and also delving into particular aspects in more detail.