|The service economy is growing, currently comprising over 70% of the nation's GDP and employing 8 out of every 10 workers. The growth in developing countries is rapid, with India and China approaching 50% service employment.
This class is concerned with the design and delivery of services: How to design and improve the service offering for sustained excellence, and how to identify and overcome key challenges in the service delivery. We consider a wide range of industries: from traditional services such as hotels and restaurants, to
e-commerce, financial services, and services 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. In contrast to a traditional operations course, we first focus on production processes in which the customer plays an integral role; and second, we strive to understand and leverage the role customers play in the process. This course draws ideas not only from operations management, but also from consumer behavior, marketing, and strategy. While mathematical modeling is not the focus of the course, it plays an important role.
We develop a Service Framework with two main components: A Service Model, and the Process Control Networks.
The Service Model has four parts: The Service Offering (what customer needs and expectations does the service emphasize, and which ones will it sacrifice?), the Funding Mechanism (how the offering is funded), the Employee Management System (with emphasis of job design) and the Customer Management
System (the role and expectations placed upon your customers).
Process Control Networks are a way to explore the interactions between service entities, such as between a firm and its customers. While the Process Flow Analysis that is the emphasis of Bus 40000 is useful at analyzing flows of customers in aggregate through a capacitated service, they fail to capture the interactions between a firm and an individual customer. Process Control Networks capture this interaction and provide a useful tool for analyzing service innovations.
The course has both lecture and cases. Most cases are designed to explore our Service Framework in a broad sense, and then delve into a particular aspect in some detail.