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From Dr. Scott Sampson's Understanding Services Businesses Book (click for table of contents)
SBP 1c: Identifying the Customer⇐Prior —[in Unit 1: Unified Services Theory Basics]— Next⇒SBP 1e: The Unit of Analysis

SBP 1d: Identifying the Production Process

With services, the company's Uproduction process is defined as company effort to add value to customer inputs. Company effort in preparation for production is the pre-production process. When the production process concludes, and the customer may use the production outcome to continue to add value. This post-production process is primarily based on customer action. Often, well-designed service outcomes will enable the customer to create value in the post-production process.

Why it occurs

This principle occurs because the only ways companies can add value is through efforts and through outputs. Efforts can add value directly to customer inputs (given by the Unified Services Theory). Outputs, or outcomes, can allow customers to add value after the company's production efforts are complete.

For example

barber The production process of a hospital begins when a patient is admitted into the hospital. Pre-production activities include ordering supplies, cleaning facilities, and training the staff. Production activities include surgery and administering medications, which are intended to add value to a patient by improving the chances of recovery. Post-production processes include the patient taking medication and following other prescribed treatments (such as staying in bed).

The production process of a barber shop begins when the customer enters the facility. The barber adds value to the customer by transforming his or her hair from an undesirable state to a more desirable state. The production process ends when the barber is finished adding value to the customer's hair condition. The customer's post-production process may include washing his or her hair and following styling recommendations. In this haircut example, the barber's pre-production processes include cleaning the facility, ordering supplies, training the barbers, scheduling, etc.

My airline example

With airlines, pre-production efforts include procuring airplanes, maintaining airplanes, training pilots and flight attendants, procuring peanuts. These activities do not add value for customers, but enable the company to add value for customers.

The production process begins when the customer contacts the airline for flight information. Knowledge about flight schedules is valuable to customers, because it helps them with their planning. The production process continues when the customer arrives at the airport to check luggage. Shortly thereafter, the customers check themselves into the airplane. The flight is the major portion of the production process, adding value by transporting the customer to a location of value to the customer.

How manufacturing differs

With manufacturing, the production process is more easily defined as company manipulation of goods from the stage of initial procurement of materials and resources through shipping of the finished goods.

Analysis questions

  1. Where does the production process begin? In other words, what is the initial company effort towards directly adding value for customers?
  2. What is the pre-production process? In other words, what are company efforts which do not directly add value for customers, but prepare the company to add value for customers?
  3. Where does the production process end? In other words, at what point does the company's efforts to add value for a particular customer cease?
  4. After the end of this production process, in what ways does the customer use the process output to add value?

Application exercise

Redraw a process flowchart. Are there process steps before and after those depicted in your flowchart? Draw dashed lines indicating where the production process begins and ends. Identify essential pre-production activities. What are the customer's post-production requirements? How is the customer prepared to perform post-production activities?

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== Public sections == * [[usb:toc|Understanding Service Businesses]] book. * [[ibm:ssme:ust|UST paradigm for Service Science]] * [[ibm:ssme:cambridge07|Cambridge 2007 notes]] ---- * [[:start]] * [[http://services.byu.edu/sw/doku.php?do=index|Site map]] * [[http://services.byu.edu/sw/doku.php?do=recent|Recent Changes]] * [[:wiki:dokuwiki|Help]] == Private sections == * [[gscm:pub|BYU GSCM student recruiting]] * [[ibm:scm|IBM SCM case study]] * [[cos:top|Commoditization of Services]] research

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