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.
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
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.
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.