* Service Capacity is defined as the maximum level of value-added activity, which can be consistently achieved over a period of time under normal operating conditions.
* The important consideration is that the service provider should be able to sustain provision of service at such a rate comfortably under normal working conditions.
* It can be expressed as :
1. Max. number of patient attended by a Doctor / hr.
2. Max. number of calls attended by a Executive / hr.
3. Max. number of passengers serviced by Metro Rail /day
Three Pure Planning strategies are suggested :
* Constant Capacity,
* Chase Strategy ( Capacity closely following the demand patterns) * Demand Smoothening.
The three pure planning service capacity strategies are used in combination by many service providers. Constant Capacity
As the name of strategy suggests, the capacity constituted by key, critical, rare or costly resources is kept constant throughout.
1. Capacity of Call-Centre
2. Availability & Appointments by Specialist Doctor in his clinic 3. Capacity sharing by Airlines companies.
The customers are attended but the quality suffers a lot.
Chase Capacity Strategy
As the name indicates, the capacity closely follows the demand patterns. Constant Capacity strategy would be disastrous if customers are not willing to wait and if competitors are available nearby. The operations manager would need flexibility in his capacities with respect to demand.
* Fast Food Restaurant ( Use of Part-time employees )
* Cross Trained Employees in Banking industries for Single Window Services.
Strategy with Demand Smoothening
In this strategy, the operations manager should attempt to smooth customer demand throughout the time period by inducing more customers to avail the service during the period of low demand.
1. Offering price discounts during late night flights,
2. Offering discounts in early morning Cinema shows,
3. Using Extra T.V. or large size LCD sets to attract customers during Cricket match in a Restaurant.
Designing Services Processes
Three generic approaches can be used for designing service processes. These approaches depend upon the extent of customer involvement in the service processes.
1. Designing high customer contact and low customer contact operation separately :
It is possible to identify parts of operations having high and low levels of customer contact.
1. In Fast Food Restaurant, the service counter has very high level of customer contact, for placing of order, payment of bill in advance and go for self- service themselves.
All the remaining operations like production of dishes, procurement of raw material hardly involves any direct customer contact.
This decoupling of different portions of service operations is useful for running low cost operations as a factory within the service system.
2. In a Laundry, the collection and delivery of clothes from/to the customers are high customer contact operation, while the actual laundry work is a low customer contact operation.
3. In a Airlines , the issue of boarding passes, baggage collection and directing passengers to board planes are high customer contact operations, while the back-end operations as aircraft maintenance, catering, cleaning cabins and baggage handling/delivery are low customer contact operation.
There is a need to have efficient communication between the “de-coupled” low and high customer contact operations, e.g.,
1. The front-office of a laundry should be in continuous communication with the back-end operations about the status of work according to the delivery schedules. 2. The front-office of a Restaurant ( Delivery Counter ) should be in continuous communication with the back-end operations ( Kitchen ) about the status of delivery of items.
1. Designing through an assembly line approach :