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Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Frédéric Ponsignon, Phil Davies, Andi Smart and Roger Maull

The objective of this work is to empirically investigate the design of a service delivery system that supports the provision of modular service logistics offerings.

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this work is to empirically investigate the design of a service delivery system that supports the provision of modular service logistics offerings.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth single-case study relying on interview data and extensive documentary evidence is carried out in the business-to-business (B2B) logistics sector. Three main analytical techniques are used to make sense of the qualitative data: thematic analysis, process mapping and the application of modular operators.

Findings

A modular service delivery system comprises three types of processes that collectively deliver modular offerings. The platform consists of core processes that enable the collection, transport and delivery of physical items for all offerings (modular and non-modular). Dedicated modular processes are mandatory and exclusive to individual modular offerings. Optional modular processes are shared across several modular offerings. Interfaces regulate physical (e.g. parcels or parts) and information (e.g. booking data) inputs provided by the customer in order to control the interdependencies within these different process types.

Practical implications

The identification of three process types and their interdependencies provides detailed insights into how managers can design modular logistics services that benefit from economies of scale and meet increasingly variable customer requirements. The importance of well-designed interfaces among the customers, the service offering and the service delivery system is highlighted.

Originality/value

This study extends previous modularity studies in service logistics. It is the first study to apply modular operators to determine the presence of modularity in the service delivery system and to establish the role of different process types in enabling modularity in the service delivery system.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2011

F. Ponsignon, P.A. Smart and R.S. Maull

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

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11934

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by the service strategy triad, a single embedded case study was designed to explore empirical data on four target markets, four service concepts, and on the design characteristics of the corresponding four service delivery systems. Data were collected in a market‐leading organisation in the business‐to‐business sector within the power industry. The service delivery systems comprise processes that sell electricity contracts and processes that bill against those contracts.

Findings

First, the findings indicate what design characteristics are contingent upon the degree of customisation of the service concept. The authors show how this contingency has implications for the extents of employee skills, employee discretion, task routineness, automation, and for front office (FO)‐back office (BO) configurations. Second, the authors challenge the consensus that low customer‐contact processes are designed for the purpose of efficiency. Third, the findings contradict Metters and Vargas who state that it is not possible to have different FO‐BO configurations in a single organisation.

Research limitations/implications

While there are major interactions between the four service delivery systems supporting each individual service concept, this paper does not examine the trade‐offs between the various possible designs of these service delivery systems.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises the importance of considering the complexity of the service offering, the customer relationship strategy, and of taking a process‐orientation to address service delivery system design.

Originality/value

This paper extends current understanding of service delivery system design characteristics and contingencies. The authors show how design characteristics are contingent on the service concept. Research propositions are formulated to emphasise this contingency. Additionally, we report findings which challenge existing FO‐BO design theory.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2007

Leonieke G. Zomerdijk and Jan de Vries

The aim of this paper is to investigate how the distinction between contact and non‐contact activities influences the design of service delivery systems and to identify…

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6817

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate how the distinction between contact and non‐contact activities influences the design of service delivery systems and to identify key design decisions for structuring front office and back office work.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on current literature, the paper identifies three design decisions and associated performance trade‐offs. The design decisions regard the degree of customer contact in the process, the decoupling of activities and the grouping of employees. The design decisions and the trade‐offs are empirically validated in five case studies of 15 service delivery systems in the financial services sector.

Findings

Distinguishing between the three design decisions is more suitable for describing today's practices than traditional front office – back office thinking. For each design decision a trade‐off was observed consisting of several design considerations. However, the trade‐offs do not involve the weighing of one set of performance objectives against another, as the design choices contribute to the same objectives, yet in different ways.

Research limitations/implications

This study concentrated on a limited number of cases in the financial services sector. The contents of the trade‐offs should be tested on a larger scale and in different industries. In order to develop design guidelines, future research should also examine the impact of contingency factors, such as the service being delivered and strategic priorities.

Originality/value

The three design decisions and the trade‐offs improve understanding of the impact of customer contact on a service organisation and provide support for designing service delivery systems in practice.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1988

Luis M. Huete and Aleda V. Roth

Technologies for the delivery of financial services, such as ATMs, home banking and other self‐service media, are having a profound impact on the design of retail banks'…

Abstract

Technologies for the delivery of financial services, such as ATMs, home banking and other self‐service media, are having a profound impact on the design of retail banks' delivery systems. The results of an empirical study based on a probability sample survey of 117 US retail banks, in which the channels of delivery for typical banking products are investigated, are presented. Several of the basic assumptions of a conceptual framework depicting the relationships between service contents characteristics and service delivery channels are tested. Specifically, this article considers how banking services (transactions and enquiries) generally vary according to the type of delivery channel emphasised by the bank for its target market (industrialisation level) and according to the number (span) of delivery channels available to the customer. It also shows the relationship between these two key factors in delivery system design, industrialisation and span.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

Douglas K. Ferguson

The Fred Meyer Charitable Trust, Division of Library and Information Resources for the Northwest, has funded five research projects that will demonstrate the potential of…

Abstract

The Fred Meyer Charitable Trust, Division of Library and Information Resources for the Northwest, has funded five research projects that will demonstrate the potential of various techniques and new technologies to facilitate communications and resource sharing in the Northwest. The experience and information derived from these projects will be of value to all libraries and information centers, not just those conducting the research. The techniques and technologies being evaluated include: simultaneous remote searching, which uses inexpensive terminals and modems; a mini‐computer‐based union list and resource sharing network (INFONET); networks using facsimile machines; networks that transmit documents that have been optically scanned into bit‐map image files; and use of optical character recognition equipment to capture ASCII machine‐readable information that can be broadcast by television stations to user‐sites. Contributors of reports are: Verl Anderson, Linda Brander, Millard F. Johnson, Jr., Bruce Morton, and Steve Smith. Summary observations are provided by Joseph R. Matthews.

Details

Library Hi Tech, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1996

Sandra P. Price, Anne Morris and J. Eric Davies

This paper presents an overview of past and present research projects associated with electronic document delivery. The paper briefly outlines the Follet Report and…

Abstract

This paper presents an overview of past and present research projects associated with electronic document delivery. The paper briefly outlines the Follet Report and introduces the UK's Electronics Libraries Programme, including the recently funded Focused Investigation of Document Delivery (FIDDO) project at Loughborough University. Four research areas have been identified as follows: resource sharing projects; network communication projects; electronic scanning projects and electronic document delivery systems. Conclusions highlight the major impact that technological developments are currently having on this area, the need for librarians to reassess their role in the information chain, and the need for delivery systems capable of handling different formats and a wider coverage of material to satisfy requests.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 14 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1997

Jeffrey J. Dorsch, Mahmoud M. Yasin and Andrew J. Czuchry

Presents an approach for applying root cause analysis (RCA) in a service delivery system for the purpose of investigating and correcting service delivery system problems…

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2766

Abstract

Presents an approach for applying root cause analysis (RCA) in a service delivery system for the purpose of investigating and correcting service delivery system problems. Utilizes a methodology that incorporates and integrates RCA into the service system by combining the approach with other managerial tools, a proactive continuous improvement (CI) philosophy, and an open system perspective of the organization and its environment. Stresses relevance of both operational and strategic implications that result from service delivery problems. The development and utility of the proposed methodology presented in this research is illustrated using both a hypothetical example and a real world application.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2011

Michael Leibert

Healthcare services in the USA have been described as being fragmented and uncoordinated. Integrated delivery systems are frequently promoted as being instrumental in…

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2097

Abstract

Purpose

Healthcare services in the USA have been described as being fragmented and uncoordinated. Integrated delivery systems are frequently promoted as being instrumental in efforts to improve the coordination of care and, thus, enhancing the quality of clinical care and patient services while ensuring optimum cost‐efficiencies. This study seeks to analyze and compare the performance of hospitals participating in highly integrated systems with non‐integrated hospitals based on outcome measures involving hospital performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The study compares the performance of 50 flagship hospitals participating in the most highly integrated delivery systems in the USA with a representative sample of non‐system hospitals utilizing one‐way analysis of variance. The comparative analysis was based on three key performance measures; clinical quality of medical care, patient satisfaction, and cost‐efficiency considerations.

Findings

The results of the review demonstrate that there is a statistically significant positive difference between the clinical quality performance of the highly integrated hospitals compared with the quality performance of non‐highly integrated facilities. No difference was identified between the two sample groups of hospitals for the performance measures related to patient satisfaction or cost‐efficiencies.

Originality/value

The study is an attempt to evaluate the implications and effectiveness of integration within the health care delivery system. It suggests that integrated delivery systems may provide the organization structure appropriate to help support and enhance the quality of clinical care for patients.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2021

Yihua Chen, Ivanka Visnjic, Vinit Parida and Zhengang Zhang

The authors seek to understand the process of digital servitization as a shift of manufacturing companies from the provision of standard products and services to smart…

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1942

Abstract

Purpose

The authors seek to understand the process of digital servitization as a shift of manufacturing companies from the provision of standard products and services to smart solutions. Specifically, the authors focus on changes in the business model (i.e. the value proposition, the value delivery system and the value capture mechanism) for digital servitization.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors examine a Chinese air conditioner manufacturer, Gree, who became the global leader with their smart solutions. These solutions included performance-based contracts underpinned by artificial intelligence (AI)-powered air conditioners that automatically adjust to environmental changes and are capable of remote monitoring and servicing thanks to its Internet of things (IoT) technology.

Findings

To successfully offer smart solution value propositions, a manufacturer needs an ecosystem value delivery system composed of suppliers, distributors, partners and customers. Once the ecosystem relationships are well aligned, the manufacturer gains value with multiple value capture mechanisms (i.e. efficiency, accountability, shared customer value and novelty). To arrive at this point, a manufacturer has to pass through different stages that are characterized by both discontinuous and continuous interplay between business models and digital technologies. At the beginning of each stage, new value propositions and value delivery systems are first discontinuously created and then enabled with digital technology. As a result, new value capture mechanisms are activated. Meanwhile, the elements of the existing business model are continuously improved.

Research limitations/implications

By combining process-perspective and business-model lenses, the authors offer nuanced insights into how digital servitization unfolds.

Practical implications

Executives can obtain insights into the business model elements, they need to change over the course of digital servitization and how to manage the process.

Originality/value

A longitudinal case study of a traditional manufacturer that has achieved stellar success through digital servitization business models development.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2011

Alex Hill and Richard Cuthbertson

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between internal strategic fit and business performance, propose six classifications of internal fit using the…

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2721

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between internal strategic fit and business performance, propose six classifications of internal fit using the “strategic map” managerial framework and identify how firms should best move from one classification to another and the impact that these changes will have on business performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical research was conducted in 12 service organisations. Based on these findings, two fit‐performance relationships were identified and the “fitness map” framework was developed showing six classifications of fit.

Findings

The alignment of operations strategy within an organisation is significantly and positively related to market share, whereas, the alignment of the service delivery system is significantly and positively related to return on sales. However, neither the alignment of the operations strategy nor the service delivery system appears to have a relationship with return on investment. Six classifications of internal strategic fit emerged: poorly aligned organisations are either “understanding processes” or “understanding markets”, medium‐fit companies are “managing processes” or “developing service offerings” and well‐aligned firms are “leveraging services and process capabilities” or “leveraging markets and design capabilities”.

Practical implications

The fit‐performance relationships show how changes in the alignment of operations strategy and delivery system impact business performance differently. Using this knowledge, practitioners can use the “strategic map” framework to identify their classification of fit and understand how it has been created, benchmark their level of fit against other businesses, understand how to move from one level of fit to another and how these decisions will impact business performance.

Originality/value

The paper's findings start to address the gap in the literature on internal strategic fit within service organisations and meet the need for more management tools to help businesses develop strategies, understand the level of fit they create and how they can impact business performance.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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