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Career Avenues in Service Operations Management

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The 21st century has placed immense importance on the service operations industry. Currently, 80% of North American jobs are in the service sector, and it stands to reason that service operations are a good career path to pursue. Moving away from the manufacturing model, companies now recognize the importance of creating and maintaining a lasting relationship with customers. It's no longer good enough to have a solid product if the consumer is unhappy with the services. A service operations manager ensures that customers feels respected by the company, and also that the company itself (employees and subordinates) feel respected and empowered while doing their job.

If the 20th century was the age of manufacturing, then the 21st century is rightly the age of the service industry. A career in service operations management can be extremely satisfying and rewarding for people who are oriented for service and have an inclination for participation in the day-to-day operations of a service organization.

The Growth of the Service Organization

Presently, there is growing importance on the service sector in the United States economy. Consequently, the trend is to increase the focus on operations in the service industry. Since more than 80% of jobs currently originate in the service industry, the focus is on delivering services in a more dedicated and efficient manner.

Any service organization depends upon its operations staff to deliver quality service to both its customers and internal employees. Due to the previous heavy attention given to operations management in the manufacturing industry, not enough studies are available on how to improve operational performance in a typical service organization.

The Expectations

Nevertheless, operations play crucial roles in maintaining optimal levels of service that meet customer expectations. Less-than-optimal service creates frustration for both employees as well as customers associated with the service organization. Therefore, operations professionals associated with service organizations should be able to:
  • Apply both time-tested methods and forward-looking approaches to ensure that an optimal level of service is available

  • Prioritize the areas that require improvement and recognize those that can lead to a breakthrough in service quality

  • Reduce response times of service delivery and other processes to reach efficient levels of customer service

  • Measure the amount of service delivered so that a uniform level of service is deliverable across organizations

  • Deliver error-proof service to establish lead service standards

  • Lead service organizations in establishing appreciable service cultures

  • Gain the appreciation of all levels in the organization for their efforts
How a Service Organization Differs From a Manufacturing Concern

It is imperative for operations professions in the service industry to move from the mindset of high levels of automation that require minimal levels of the workforce to scenarios that utilize multi-skilled workers interrelated in complex weaves of organizational relationships. Unlike the manufacturing approach, operations professionals in the service industry handle issues in more interpersonal manners. As a result, operations professionals in the service industry must be team players with good interpersonal skills. They are usually flexible individuals with relevant experience in the service industry. Furthermore, they have strong customer, analytical, and problem-solving skills.

The Opportunities

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 95% of jobs generated until 2012 will be service related. A safe assumption is that a significant percentage of these jobs will relate to operations within the service industry. A number of universities offer a variety of courses in service operations management.

Service operations are likely to hire operational professionals to work in areas such as data services, information technology, telecommunications, freight and courier services, transport, aviation, consulting, entertainment, hospitality, environmental services, designing service facilities, managing service quality, day-to-day operations, balancing service capability with demand, and other related sectors.
On the net:Achieving Operational Excellence in Service, Transactional, and Office Environments

New Developments in Service Operations Management

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2006

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Popular tags:

 industry  United States  interpersonal skills  manufacturing  consumers  operations managers  customers  management

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