Managing service organisations

The Missing Link

The Service Promise and Delivery

Every day, the media feature stories of customers experiencing how organisations – both private and public – fail to live up to their service promises. This may seem uncalled for, since considerable resources are spent on both designing these services and operating an efficient service delivery.

The Missing Link

In this article, we will attempt to describe what was, until now, the 'missing link' between these approaches.

The below text is an extract – you can download the entire article at the top of the page. This article was co-authored by Jan Erik Dahl.

The missing link which, at present, seems to exist between the inside-out production approach with design of efficient processes and operational environments and the outside-in approach with design of service experiences.

A service organisation is normally a complex organisation. Managing service organisations requires managers who, like great conductors, are capable of orchestrating harmony based on highly different instruments, individualities and processes. Moreover – since it is almost impossible to control it all – these conductors seek to master the art of facilitating and coaching their people to do an excellent job, driven by a holistic understanding and by passion for service excellence.

To help the operational conductors, the function of the service designers could be an active asset, but they need a framework in which roles and responsibilities are clearly defined. Thus, we introduce the concept of the Service Delivery System. It can be used to understand how to drive an efficient service delivery while still being attractive to customers, thus balancing the outside-in approach of the market orientation and the inside-out approach of operations. The Service Delivery System seeks to provide the user with tools to ensure the attractiveness of the service design balanced with operating efficient front and back offices.

We need to

  1. Meet customer demand in the variety that occurs from the customers we have chosen to target.
  2. Apply different approaches to optimisation that match different operational environments and link these to achieve holistic and smooth cross-functional collaboration in order to drive the full potential of efficient service operations without compromising the attractiveness to the customers.

The above text is an extract – go to the top of the page to download the entire article.

Jakob Støvring Sørensen
Jakob Støvring Sørensen
+45 3085 8040