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Positioning services along the volume‐variety diagonal: The contingencies of service design, control and improvement

Rhian Silvestro (University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 April 1999

8035

Abstract

Draws on the service management literature to enhance understanding of the key operational differences in managing professional services, at one extreme, and mass services, at the other. Contributions are drawn together, developed and integrated into the service process model. This yields an understanding of the contingencies which render the design, control and improvement of different service processes appropriate. Strategic implications of the service process model are considered. It is contended that cost effective services will be positioned along the volume‐variety diagonal. It is proposed that the service process model can be used as a strategic tool in three ways. First, it can be used to evaluate possible strategic moves along the volume‐variety diagonal. Second, it can be used to analyse a competitive area and evaluate a service offering relative to the competition. Third, it can be used to analyse internal organisational processes with a view to identifying processes which have different volume‐variety characteristics and which should therefore perhaps be managed separately.

Keywords

Citation

Silvestro, R. (1999), "Positioning services along the volume‐variety diagonal: The contingencies of service design, control and improvement", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 399-421. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443579910254268

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 1999, MCB UP Limited

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