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Article
Publication date: 9 April 2020

Charles H. Patti, Maria M. van Dessel and Steven W. Hartley

How can customer service be so bad in an era when companies collect endless data on customer interactions? The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the important…

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Abstract

Purpose

How can customer service be so bad in an era when companies collect endless data on customer interactions? The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the important challenge of elevating customer service delivery by providing guidelines for when and how to select optimal measures of customer service measurement using a new decision framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a comprehensive, multi-dimensional review of extant literature related to customer service, journey mapping and performance measurement and applied a qualitative, taxonomic approach for model development.

Findings

A process model and customer journey mapping framework can facilitate the selection and application of appropriate and relevant customer service experience metrics to enhance customer service experience strategies, creation and delivery.

Research limitations/implications

The taxonomy of customer service metrics is limited to current publicly and commercially available metrics. The dynamic nature of the customer service environment necessitates continuous updates of the model and framework.

Practical implications

Selection of customer service performance measures should match relevant stages of the customer journey; use perception-based, operational and outcome-based metrics that track employee and customer behaviours; improve omni-channel measurement; and integrate data-sharing and benchmark measurement initiatives through collaboration with customer service communities.

Originality/value

A reimagined perspective is offered to the complex challenge of measuring and improving customer service, providing a new decision-making framework for customer service experience measurement and guidance for future research.

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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2020

Dag Naslund and Steven Wlliamson

Hunter Harrison, CEO of the railroad company CSX, died on December 16, 2017. Harrison, known as the railroad transformation guru, was a controversial person. While his…

Abstract

Purpose

Hunter Harrison, CEO of the railroad company CSX, died on December 16, 2017. Harrison, known as the railroad transformation guru, was a controversial person. While his transformations were applauded by investors, they were also subject to significant criticism. The author changes triggered service disruptions, customer complaints and federal scrutiny. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an in-depth analysis of the transformation at CSX and to develop a framework for the analysis of organizational transformation projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors critically analyze the transformation at CSX – known as precision scheduled railroading (PSR). The authors base the initial analysis on the Lean approach to organizational change the authors compare and contrast the two approaches and the authors highlight both positive and negative aspects. The empirical data was collected via two rounds of interviews with employees at CSX – the first informal, the second structured. The lack of academic articles dealing with PSR, the authors focused on the review on trade and newspaper articles.

Findings

First, while many transformations are conducted under the assumption that they will improve both effectiveness and efficiency, they are in reality often mainly efficiency improvement programs that can, in fact, hurt both effectiveness and employee morale. Second, the paper presents a framework for the analysis of transformation projects.

Research limitations/implications

The authors identify factors for analysis of transformation programs and the authors develop a framework, which structures significant change aspects into three categories, namely, purpose, process and people.

Practical implications

Organizations can use the framework to understand the requirements for successful transformation, to analyze if the chosen method matches the organizational strategy and to facilitate successful implementation in the companies.

Originality/value

This is the first research paper on PSR and the first paper contrasting PSR with other transformation methods.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Feli X. Shi, Siew Hoon Lim and Junwook Chi

The purpose of this paper is to provide an economic assessment of the productivity growth and technical efficiency of US Class I railroads for the period of 2002‐2007.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an economic assessment of the productivity growth and technical efficiency of US Class I railroads for the period of 2002‐2007.

Design/methodology/approach

The US railroad industry has become increasingly concentrated with seven Class I railroads accounting for over 90 percent of the industry's revenue. Because the small sample size creates a dimensionality problem for data envelopment analysis (DEA) with contemporaneous frontiers, the authors use sequential DEA and calculate the Malmquist productivity indexes using sequential frontiers. Through a decomposition process, changes in productivity are attributed to technical efficiency change, technical change, and scale efficiency change.

Findings

Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) led the industry in terms of productivity growth (4.6 percent) and consistently stayed on the production frontier in every period studied; both BNSF and Union Pacific (UP) are top innovators in the industry, but UP trailed BNSF in both productivity growth and technological innovations by wide margins; and Grand Trunk Corporation was very good at “catching up” or leading its peers in efficiency improvements.

Research limitations/implications

Railroads have invested heavily in technology over the years to enhance efficiency and productivity. However, two recent economic studies find that railroad productivity has slowed in recent years. The authors' benchmarking analysis sheds light on how individual railroads performed relative to their peers, and what they could learn from industry best practice.

Originality/value

The benchmarking study enables the authors to report each railroad's performance instead of reporting industry‐wide aggregate indexes or industry averages which tend to mask performance variations. The paper also examines the causal factors of recent productivity growth and provides useful information for the industry and its regulators.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 60 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Chinese Railways in the Era of High-Speed
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-984-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Ken Cottrill

Forget the railroad wars. The next wave of consolidation in the freight‐hauling industry will be across borders and transportation modes, thanks to growing global trade…

Abstract

Forget the railroad wars. The next wave of consolidation in the freight‐hauling industry will be across borders and transportation modes, thanks to growing global trade and customer demand for efficiency.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

Sunny Baker

Technology can immeasurably enhance global business effectiveness, but it doesn't provide all the answers.

Abstract

Technology can immeasurably enhance global business effectiveness, but it doesn't provide all the answers.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Aldo Romano, Giuseppina Passiante and Valerio Elia

Using a sample of 29 virtual clusters, the paper examines new sources of clustering in the digital economy. The “virtual cluster” phenomenon highlights the most…

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1493

Abstract

Using a sample of 29 virtual clusters, the paper examines new sources of clustering in the digital economy. The “virtual cluster” phenomenon highlights the most significant effect of the development of the information and communication technologies in the business environment. A virtual cluster is conceived as an e‐business community, made up of customers, suppliers, distributors and commerce providers sharing digital and knowledge networks for collaboration and competition. The purpose of this paper is to set out the characteristics of a new competitive space, in which a strategic role is played by virtual processes among partners, and to review the traditional sources of clustering in the digital economy environment (Romano et al., 1999). More specifically, this paper attempts to show the emerging overlap between digital and knowledge networks, which generates a new competitive space within a new global‐virtual learning environment. Finally, assuming that traditional sources of clustering are generally identified in specialisation (based on a sophisticated division of labour) and geographic proximity, the paper discusses how the role of organisational proximity acts as a substitute for geographic proximity in supporting coordination and tacit knowledge exchange. As it emerges from the analysis of our cases, from a managerial point of view, organisational proximity may be achieved through the implementation of supply chain management (SCM) and customer relationship management (CRM) strategies. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 23rd Institute of Small Business Affairs Annual Resource and Policy Conference in November 1999 in Leeds, UK.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1991

James Stock

The use of logistics as a tool with which to secure competitiveadvantage is revealed in two studies within the transportation sector.The first to evaluate the impact of…

Abstract

The use of logistics as a tool with which to secure competitive advantage is revealed in two studies within the transportation sector. The first to evaluate the impact of deregulation and technology within transportation; the second study offering a “big” picture of third party logistics and its popularity as a viable option for many manufacturing and merchandising firms.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 9 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1992

Dick Chan Cheung Ho

Studies the marketing system of the Manila International ContainerTerminal (MICT) in the Philippines. The data collection methodscomprised overseas trips to carry out…

Abstract

Studies the marketing system of the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) in the Philippines. The data collection methods comprised overseas trips to carry out unstructured field observation and interviews, a nine‐item structured questionnaire, and unobtrusive measures from Government statistical publications in four different countries. In the data‐analysis process, the questionnaire data were used to rank the importance of services required by major shipping lines in order to formulate the appropriate marketing strategy. The Government statistics data were used to test a hypothesis that Manila is more cost‐effective as a transshipment centre compared with three other major Asian ports. Testing of the hypothesis was based on the theory of General Equilibrium. A response rate of 60 per cent was obtained from the 30 mailed questionnaires. Finds that the most important services required by the major shipping lines were: (1) berth availability, (2) efficient operation, (3) cost. On the transshipment economics analysis, the alternative hypothesis: It is more cost‐effective to use Manila as a transshipment centre compared with Hong Kong, Kaohsiung and Singapore, was found to be sustained. Notes, however, that, although Manila is found to be the most cost‐effective on the whole system, Singapore is the cheapest, when considering stevedoring cost only, while Hong Kong is the cheapest when considering port charges and vessel‐steaming cost. On the whole, the existing marketing strategy of MICT, as observed during the various trips, was found to be sound and well‐justified. Nevertheless, makes recommendations, based on the findings in this study, aimed at increasing berth availability, ensuring efficient operation and being cost‐competitive and effective.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 October 2009

Rashmi Malhotra, D.K. Malhotra and Harvey Lermack

With increased crude oil prices, railroad is emerging as a cheaper alternative to trucks and other less fuel efficient modes of transportation. As a result, with increase…

Abstract

With increased crude oil prices, railroad is emerging as a cheaper alternative to trucks and other less fuel efficient modes of transportation. As a result, with increase in crude oil price, while other modes of transportation have suffered economic slump, railroad industry is thriving with every company reporting an increase in revenue and profits. In this study, we analyze the performance of seven North American Class I freight railroads. In this chapter, we illustrate the use of data envelopment analysis (DEA), an operations research technique, to analyze the financial performance of the U.S. railroad industry by benchmarking a set of financial ratios of a firm against its peers. DEA clearly brings out the firms that are operating more efficiently in comparison with other firms in the industry and points out the areas in which poorly performing firms need to improve.

Details

Financial Modeling Applications and Data Envelopment Applications
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-878-6

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